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COVID19: Cyprus hospital visits banned as cases jump

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As the number of confirmed Cyprus Republic coronavirus cases climbed to 26 in only a week, state health services announced the closure of Paphos hospital and banned patient visits to stop the virus spreading within hospitals.

The Ministry of Health announced on Saturday that five new cases were confirmed making a total of 32 islandwide – 26 in the Republic and 6 in the Turkish occupied areas.

Of the five new cases – An elderly British national contracted the virus while receiving visitors in the ICU at Paphos General Hospital. The visitors had arrived from the UK.

This new development prompted the State Health Services Organisation (OKYPY) on Sunday to order the closure of Paphos General Hospital and to prohibit visits to all patients at state hospitals.

The ICU patient is expected to be transferred to Famagusta General Hospital’s ICU on Sunday.

The hospital’s chief, Dr Spyros Georgiou said the 70-year-old Briton had been in the ICU since February 3 but in the last few days, his health deteriorated after being visited by people who had come from the UK.

Samples taken from the man showed he was positive.

The ICU was closed and fumigated, and patients were expected to be transferred to other hospitals and clinics.

OKYPY said the hospital will shut down for 48 hours for all areas to be deep cleaned. It also announced that visits will not be allowed to any state hospitals further notice.

The decision was taken in consultation with the Unit for Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases.

Two of the new cases were people who had arrived from Italy and were in self-isolation and developed Covid-19 symptoms.

Two more were under self-isolation and had close contact with a confirmed case had been detected. (source CNA)