NICOSIA, March 12 Xinhua) -- Cyprus' Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said on Thursday that all public and private schools and instruction institutions will remain closed until March 20 in a bid to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Prodromou urged all private universities to follow suit and suspend operation, after the state University of Cyprus closed its door saying that one of its medical school teachers was infected by the disease.
In a bid to pacify public anxiety, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades announced through his spokesman that he will make a televised address to the people on Friday evening to explain the measures already announced and make a call for composure.
Cypriot authorities have announced six coronavirus cases up to now. The country confirmed its first two cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday.
A large number of people, including several in the two British military bases in Cyprus, are either under medical surveillance or home quarantine, authorities said.
A special ministerial committee under President Anastasiades met on Thursday to review possible additional measures.
Government spokesman Kyriakos Kousios said after the meeting that all measures already announced will stay in force and any new ones will be announced on Friday.
The measures in force include the screening and quarantining of people arriving from countries with a high rate of coronavirus cases, and banning public events and private gatherings of over 75 people, except those in factories and work places.
Turkish Cypriot authorities in the part of Cyprus controlled by Turkish troops also met on Thursday and announced further measures, including the closing down of two crossing points on the line dividing the island into Greek and Turkish Cypriot parts, after the government closed down four check points.
They also banned chartered flights and introduced stricter screening procedures for a large number of countries with coronavirus infections.