COVID19: Cyprus low count opens lockdown exit door

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Cyprus recorded five new COVID-19 infections and another fatality on Monday, taking the total number of cases to 822 while the death toll increased to 15.

A total of 20 patients have died after contracting COVID-19 but only 15 of those deaths had coronavirus as the underlying cause.

The latest COVID-19 death was a 76-year-old man with serious underlying health issues who died at Nicosia General Hospital.

Eleven of the patients to lose their life due to COVID-19 were men and four were women, the median age was 73.

Presenting Monday’s results, Health Ministry advisor Dr Leontios Kostrikis said the five new positive cases were detected from 1796 tests, bringing the total of confirmed infections in the Cyprus Republic to 822.

Encouragingly, no contacts of known coronavirus cases were found to have been infected with the virus.

Health services carried out 108 tests on contacts of confirmed cases.

Three more positive cases were found from some 551 tests carried out on people who were recently repatriated and have been quarantined since their arrival.

One case was found through tests carried out at private labs at an individual’s request.

The Health Ministry said one positive case was identified through some 280 tests carried out within the framework of 20,000 tests for frontline workers.

Since April 11, some 16,287 out of the 20,000-test programmed were carried out (2,000 more free tests have been added).

Some 494 tests out of the 800 random sample survey have been completed, no new cases were found.

Health authorities said that the five new cases reported are within the scientific team’s expectations and they remain confident that Cyprus is on the right track.

The team is to meet with President Anastasiades Tuesday to give the green light for authorities to proceed with relaxing restrictions, Kostrikis said.

He noted that the government will have the final word on how measures will be relaxed.

Kostrikis, did, however, call on people, no matter to what extent the measures are eased, to continue abiding by hygiene regulation, as the virus is still present in the community.

“We must keep up our efforts to preserve what we have achieved. As the Minister of Health stated very aptly, the battle has been won but not the war,” said Kostrikis.

Replying to a question by the Financial Mirror, Kostrikis said that according to estimates, the total percentage of Cyprus’ population infected by COVID-19 is around 2 or 3 per thousand (0.2%-0.3%).

Dr Marios Loizou of the Cyprus State Health Services Organisation said 19 patients are hospitalized at the Famagusta COVID-19 reference hospital, one of whom is in the Advanced Care Unit (ACU).

Their condition is described as generally stable.

No discharges were announced for the second day in a row.

Four people are now intubated, one of whom is at the ICU of Limassol General Hospital and three at the ICU in Nicosia General Hospital.

Three more patients are hospitalized at ICUs without being on a ventilator, four of which are being treated at Nicosia General Hospital ICU, and one at Limassol General Hospital’s ICU.

All the ICU patients are critical but stable