NICOSIA – An early lockdown that held down the number of cases and deaths over COVID-19, including shutting the airport to almost all international travel, hasn't led to tourists coming as expect and the government is readying in case there's a resurgence.
Cyprus Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said the government is prepared for another round of the Coronavirus, bulking up supplies to try to prevent a spread and reduce the impact on patients and the healthcare system, The Financial Mirror said.
“We are proud of what we have achieved so far in containing the pandemic,” Ioannou told a Rotary Club of Nicosia-Lefkothea event.
“We could certainly do better in addressing specific issues, but we should always take into consideration that no country globally had the means or the knowledge to deal with the pandemic at its early stages,” he added.
He said success in dealing with this pandemic was down to “strong political commitment to take robust and proactive measures” in line with science and the advice of medical experts, unlike some countries like the United States and the United Kingdom where political expediency and concern for the economy came first.
“All these measures gave us time to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Fortunately, the early tracing of the cases and their isolation prevented the spread of the virus in the community and allowed our healthcare system to address the situation with the minimum possible losses,” he said.
Since the first two cases of COVID-19 were identified on March 9 there have been 1,040 cases reported with only 19 deaths. Nearly 85% of these cases (approximately 850) have recovered while no patient has been hospitalized in an Intensive Care Unit unit since June 19.
“We plan with a sense of guarded optimism keeping in mind that COVID-19 is a new highly transmissible infection in a population with low immunity … there was no successful action plan to base our policies on and, therefore, we had to be flexible to adjust our strategy at all times,” he said.
“What happened in many other countries, far more advanced and with better healthcare systems than Cyprus, was not an option for us,” he added.