COVID19: Cyprus encouraged as new cases stabilise

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Cypriot health services are encouraged by signs that strict COVID-19 social distancing rules seem to be working after Cyprus has flattened the rise in confirmed cases.

“Today’s numbers are encouraging due to the success of lockdown measures,” said health official Dr Leontios Kostrikis announcing 19 new COVID-19 cases on Monday.

Total COVID-19 cases have now reached 465, including 10 in the British Bases, and nine deaths since the pandemic.

Monday’s cases dropped slightly from 20 on Sunday, while the authorities had reported 30 cases on Saturday. Numbers are declining following the record 58 cases announced on 1 April.

Out of the 19 new cases, 9 people were traced among the contacts of already confirmed cases, (two of which come from the Aradippou cluster), the origin of 10 others is being investigated.

Ministry of Health adviser on the pandemic, Kostrikis, said the new cases were confirmed after 718 tests were carried out.

The 465 COVID-19 cases were confirmed after 11,664 tests were carried out by the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, the Microbiology Department of Nicosia and Limassol General Hospital as well as private labs.

Out of the 465 cases, 332 people were infected through contact in Cyprus.

Some 45 people who were hospitalised after testing positive to the virus have recovered.

Kostrikis said that the downward trend in coronavirus cases was not offset by results from targeted testing in the cluster in Aradippou, a village in Larnaca.

He said that out of a total of 508 tests carried out during the weekend, six of them returned positive. The village had a total of 39 cases as of 2 April.

“The low number of cases in the Aradippou area allows for some optimism. When the process is completed in Paphos too then we will have a clearer picture.”

Kostrikis said that the majority of samples from the Paphos cluster have yet to be tested. Paphos was to see some 1000 tests taking place over the weekend. As of Monday afternoon, only 96 samples had been tested, with just one being positive.

So far, 704 Paphos residents were tested for coronavirus.

Dr Marios Loizou of the Cyprus State Health Services Organisation said that according to the data available, 29 people were hospitalized at Famagusta General the COVID-19 reference hospital. Five of them are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit.

Eight people were discharged from the reference hospital on Monday.

Eleven people are now on ventilators, 2 at Limassol General Hospital Intensive Care Unit and nine at Nicosia General Hospital Intensive Care Unit.

The situation of all these patients is stable but critical, Loizou said.