On Saturday, a town in Cyprus that has become a coronavirus hotspot carried out mass testing, amid fears the virus had been spreading unchecked for several weeks.
Aradippou, a town of 25,000 residents near Cyprus’s southern coast, has reported 29 of the country’s 426 official COVID-19 cases, according to its mayor Evangelos Evangelides.
However, the actual number of infections is likely to be much higher as residents “feel that everybody has the virus,” Evangelides said.
The Health Ministry has now mandated widespread testing to establish the scale of the outbreak.
According to the latest reports, Cyprus has 426 coronavirus cases and 9 deaths relating to the disease.
“We are starting with the people who are working on the first line – that is supermarkets, all the shops that are still open – and people who have had contact with positive people,” Evangelides added.
Individuals drive to the local testing centre and remain in their vehicles as health care workers in protective gowns and masks administer the tests.
Amid the pandemic, the government imposed strict restrictions which include a night-time curfew, allowing people to leave their homes once a day, shutting its borders to all except Cypriots, European workers and those with special permits, then extended the shutdown to all air links.
Overnight, an Aegean Airlines aircraft carrying medical supplies urgently needed by Cyprus healthcare providers, landed at Larnaka Airport.