COVID19: Divided Cyprus has over 430 cases

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Cyprus recorded its second-highest daily jump in confirmed coronavirus cases as health authorities announced another 36 infections and one more death on Thursday.

Just two days after the implementation of tougher social distance measures, Cyprus recorded 356 total infections, including 10 in the British Bases, and 10 deaths since the outbreak on 9 March.

Combined with the 81 cases announced in the Turkish occupied north of the island, divided Cyprus now has a total of 437 coronavirus cases.

Turkish Cypriot authorities also announced the death of two German tourists, a man and a woman aged 67 and 83. Deaths island-wide have reached 12.

The 36 new cases announced by the Republic on Thursday, follow Wednesday’s record 58.

The Health Ministry said a 77-year-old woman passed away from COVID-19, she had underlying health issues.

So far, eight men and two women, with an age average of 69, have died from COVID-19, eight of whom had underlying health problems.

A spike in new cases, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus Dr Leontios Kostrikis, said 24 had contact with previously diagnosed individuals, one case involved someone who returned from a foreign trip, while another 11 infections are being investigated.

The 356 cases were confirmed following 8,779 tests run by the Institute of Neurology and Genetics and the Microbiology Department of the Nicosia General Hospital and private clinical laboratories.

A spike in new confirmed cases is no surprise to health authorities.

Dr Kostrikis warned the public does not to get carried away with the decrease recorded in cases compared with the 58 announced on Wednesday.

“Numbers never lie but one must read them carefully. Neither is 36 a small number for Cyprus,” he said.

“The increase in numbers is a reflection of our behaviour towards measures taken. It is obvious that not all of us have complied with the restrictions, which has led to the spread of the virus in the community”.

“Therefore, we urge you to continue to comply with the decrees, and we are confident that the results will improve. I repeat, what we build today is an investment in our health for the future.”

Out of the 356 cases, 227 were infections which occurred within the community.

Dr Marios Loizou of the State Health Services Organisation (OKYPY) said 35 people were hospitalized at Famagusta General Hospital. Five of them remained at the ICU. Three people were discharged from the reference hospital.

Nine people are being treated on ventilators, seven at the Nicosia General Hospital’s ICU, and two at Limassol Hospital’s ICU.

Loizou said, “slowing down the spread of the disease will be crucial to give time to health systems to adjust and prepare”.

He also said gave some encouraging news, announcing that the first COVID-19 patient on a ventilator has been disconnect from it. The patient is still in ICU at the Limassol Hospital.

COVID-19 trends

George Nicolopoulos, professor of Epidemiology and member of the Epidemiological Monitoring Unit, gave a statistical breakdown of the cases until 31 March.

According to the data, Paphos and the village of Aradippou in Larnaca have a high number of cases compared to their population.

Among all cases, 77 (29%) were reported in Nicosia, 75 (28%) in Larnaca, 61 (23%) in Paphos, 30 (11%) in Limassol, 16 (6%) in Famagusta, 4 (2%) British Bases.

Notably, 39 cases (15%) were reported in Aradippou.

Furthermore, one in four cases involved a health professional, with one in five of all cases being somehow connected to the cluster at the Paphos General Hospital.

Combined with the 81 cases announced in the Turkish occupied north of the island, divided Cyprus now has a total of 437 coronavirus cases.