Stricter measures against coronavirus to be considered, Education Ministry announces closure of all schools

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou did not rule out more drastic measures to be announced in the next days following the WHO’s decision to declare coronavirus a pandemic.

Ioannou’s statement comes as the Ministry of Education announced the closure of schools throughout the island until next Friday, 20th March.

He said that despite the small number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Cyprus so far, the measures taken in Cyprus from the start were stricter than the instructions of the WHO and the ECDC.

“This conscious decision, which should not exclude the ministry taking more drastic measures in the coming days in light of the WHO`s decision to declare a pandemic, is strictly and solely aimed at limiting, where possible, the virus’ spread throughout the country”, he added.

Noting he understands the inconvenience caused to the public and the business community because of the measures taken, he assured that according to the President`s instructions, the top priority of the Government is to take all the necessary measures to protect the country and the population as much as possible.

He said in an effort for more effective action, he has set up a scientific committee with independent experts to complement the work of the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health.

The Minister appealed to the people to follow personal hygiene rules and take measures to protect themselves against the virus, especially those who travelled to countries with confirmed coronavirus cases recently.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education announced that all schools throughout Cyprus will close from Friday, 13 March, until 20th March.

He said that schools in Nicosia which have been closed since Tuesday, will also remain closed until next Friday.

The Ministry’s decision covers all schools, elementary, tertiary education both public and private as well as universities and was taken as a precautionary measure.

It further said that in cooperation with the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, will examine the possibility of students receiving online education through distance learning, especially for students who are preparing for the Pancyprian examinations. The possibility of extending school projects will also be considered.

Source: Cyprus News Agency