NICOSIA, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Cypriot cities and towns were deserted on Wednesday, the first full day of a lockdown imposed by the government to stop the spread of the coronavirus infections, as the Health Ministry announced eight more new COVID-19 cases.
The ministry said that the total was raised to 132 since the first confirmed case was announced on March 9.
There were also three coronavirus deaths in the previous four days, involving two Britons and a Cypriot. One of the Britons had underlying illnesses, but the second Briton was healthy at 60 and the Cypriot was a 58-year old man without any health problems.
Leondios Kostrikis, a professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, said he expected the COVID-19 infections to peak soon.
Kostrikis, who is among the top advisors of the government on the coronavirus crisis, added that the effect of the restrictions on movement will be made manifest in about 10 days, when a slope down should be expected, barring unexpected complications.
Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades took a tour of the capital Nicosia in a state limousine on Wednesday morning to personally see that the lockdown was implemented.
In general, people followed the decree to stay indoors unless they had essential work to do, with the exception of the odd cat-and-mouse game between unruly youths and the police who flagged them down and booked them for breaking the lockdown order.
Each violator of the decree faces a fine of 150 euros (162 U.S. dollars).