The results of rapid tests carried out on the population of Cyprus constitute a major factor for any possible relaxations in COVID-19 measures and will determine exactly how these measures will be lifted, the Health Ministry said in a press release on Saturday, calling once again on all employees to get tested.

The Ministry points out that the ECDC, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control advises governments to carry out these tests in combination with all other measures in place and that the efficiency of all measures is related with increased testing of population. The high number of tests, the Ministry points out, shows a more clear picture of the epidemiological data and determines if measures could be lifted and how.

Cyprus` lockdown imposed on January 10 is in place until January 31st and on Monday the scientific committee will meet with the President to assess the situation.  During January 18-22 a total of 39,402 rapid tests were conducted of which 9,622 were done for private companies and all those employees who go to work and have physical presence as their places of business are in operation and exempted from the Ministry`s decree. Out of 9,622 tests, 11 came back positive from a total of 346 positive tests during the above mentioned dates. The positivity rate stands at 0.11%.
Employees` testing program will continue next week and the Ministry, in collaboration with the employers` and industrialists` federation calls on employees to get tested.

The program will also continue for care homes, health professionals and the army.

Since the beginning of the rapid test program and specifically for the period between November 16 – January 22 a total of 460,390 tests were carried out, 11,078 came back positive with a positivity rate of 2.41%,.

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