Minister of Health Popi Kanari said Friday that the new decree against COVID-19 has entered into force adding that the number of patients surpasses 3,600, while the Ministry began vaccinations with mobile units and makes recommendations to the public.

The Minister, who paid a visit at the Limassol General Hospital, said that according to the decree, everyone who enters into hospitals, nursing homes, closed structures, places of accommodation for the elderly, doctors’ or dentists’ offices, should have a coronavirus test of 48 hours and not 72 hours. 

The tightening of the test measure, she said, was necessary since in recent weeks there has been an increase in cases and until yesterday there were 3,600 patients with coronavirus with their number rising.

Kanari said that the largest number of these people are elderly, adding that this is why the Ministry began yesterday vaccinations with mobile units in an effort to vaccinate all elderly in nursing homes.

She pointed out that the virus that is circulating now is very different from the previous ones and only the specific vaccine, in the vaccination centers, can protect patients by 60 to 70%.

“That is why, we recommend that every family, the elderly, the vulnerable groups, get vaccinated in order to have this protection. We don’t want them to suffer, nor do we want the health system to be burdened” she stressed.

Furthermore, she said that recommendations have been sent to those who are positive to limit their movements and wear a protective mask. Although, she said, we cannot prohibit anyone who is positive from moving around, at least they should be responsible as they may transfer the virus to vulnerable people, who may end up in hospitals. 

Kanari added that wearing a mask is also recommended in closed areas and crowded places.

She said that the Ministry of Education is also expected to give recommendations for the schools that reopen on Monday, and that parents will be advised to keep children with coronavirus at home.

But she noted that in case there is a serious obstacle, parents should inform teachers and school staff, so that they wear masks, have good ventilation in the classrooms, proper hygienic conditions and take all necessary measures.

Regarding the exemption given to private hospitals for treating patients with coronavirus, the Minister explained that the ones that were given exemptions were hospitals with people who are cancer patients. If necessary, she added, the Ministry will revise its position, “but certainly our purpose was not to exempt from the decree but to protect these vulnerable patients.”

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