As a result of an increase in the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus, the health ministry of Cyprus announced on Wednesday that the island nation has reinstituted the requirement that residents and visitors over the age of 12 wear face masks while inside.
After a meeting of the cabinet, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela made the announcement, which stated that the decision would become effective the following day.
The Ministry of Health recorded 19,503 positive cases of COVID-19 between the 25th of June and the 5th of July. These most recent weeks have seen new peaks in COVID-19 infections.
The decision constitutes a 180-degree turn on the part of the authorities, who on June 1 revoked their earlier authorization for masks to be worn.
Hadjipantela mentioned an increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and suggested that the unrestricted movement of infected individuals without the use of masks was a contributing factor.
The epidemiological report that was released by the Ministry of Health last week stated that there have been three fatalities associated with COVID-19 and that 75 patients have been hospitalized, four of whom are in critical condition.
On June 28th, face masks were required once again to enter pharmacies, clinical labs, and government COVID-19 testing sites.
In addition to this, masks are required to be worn while traveling on public transportation, nursing homes, and hospitals.
After the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, many scientists have urged authorities to resume the use of masks due to the prevalence of highly contagious Omicron subvariants BA4 and BA5. This is because BA4 and BA5 are both subvariants of the Omicron virus.
The authorities are hesitant to reinstate masks during peak tourist season out of fear that they will result in a loss of passengers. This fear is compounded by the fact that there are no regulations regarding masks in neighboring destinations.
In the Republic of Cyprus, which has a population of approximately 900,000 people, the number of coronavirus infections has reached 515,596 since the pandemic first began in March 2020, and 1,075 people have lost their lives as a result.
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