COVID19: Majority of 20 cases in north are Germans

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Turkish Cypriot authorities on Tuesday reported another 13 cases of COVID-19 in the north of Cyprus bringing the total number of infected people there to 20.

The new cases concern German nationals who had been in quarantine at a hotel in Famagusta after a member of their tour group from Germany had tested positive for the virus.

This is the third tourist to test positive after a 65-year-old German woman – the first case – was taken ill with COVID-19 on March 10, followed the next day by her elderly husband.

According to Turkish Cypriot media, the German tourists who tested positive were initially tested negative but after developing symptoms, they were found to have COVID-19.

The tourists were on holiday in Famagusta with a group of 39 fellow German travellers who arrived in the north via the Tymbou airport (Ercan).

Currently, there is no community transmission among Turkish Cypriots, 19 cases involve tourists from Germany and a Turkish Cypriot who had returned from the UK.

Divided Cyprus now has a total of 69 COVID-19 cases after the Republic declared 49 cases on Monday since the outbreak on March 9.

Turkish Cypriot authorities have announced that all incoming travellers to the north will be taken to a central quarantine facility. The measure will be effective as of midnight Wednesday.

Authorities in the occupied north have already imposed a ban on travellers coming from 72 countries.

They have also closed the doors to Turkish citizens who are not residing permanently in the north.

Turkish Cypriots have been urged to stay home, while coffeeshops, restaurants, night clubs and other entertainment enterprises have been shut down by decree.

The ruling coalition in the north has said that it does not rule out imposing a curfew in the coming days to stem the spread of COVID-19.