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COVID19: Most imported cases were ‘symptom-free’

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The majority of Cyprus’ imported COVID-19 cases detected in the past few weeks were symptom-free, said virologist Professor Peter Karayiannis, a government scientific advisor.

He argues the authorities need to have a detailed picture on the itinerary of passengers flying to Cyprus from countries listed as high risk (Category C) via transit.

Over the weekend two people arriving from Category C countries (Egypt and the Philippines), tested positive for COVID-19.

Karayiannis said that there was no reason for any particular concern.

“We need to have a detailed picture of the airports through which they travelled.”

The professor explained that some passengers may interrupt their journey at an intermediate destination for a short period before continuing their journey to Cyprus.

“Even if they possess a certificate that they are COVID-19 negative, they may catch the virus while in transit, therefore caution is advised.”

Karayiannis notes that the overall epidemiological situation in Cyprus is very good.

“A lot of time has passed since the beginning of the pandemic and most [patients] have fully recovered.”

The remaining cases are people who arrived from abroad during the last 2-3 weeks.

“The majority of those who have been detected were symptom-free, thus they were not admitted to the reference hospital.”

According to the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiological Monitoring Unit, between June 12 -25 two cases were admitted to Famagusta General Hospital, on June 15 and 22.

One patient was since discharged from hospital on June 17.

No patients were admitted to Intensive Care Units during this time.

Passengers coming from category C countries, upon their arrival they need to fill out a document, providing details about their point of departure and transit countries.

They are subsequently tested for the virus since many are not able to secure a certificate from the country they departed.

People remain confined for 24 hours until results are ready and then they stay in isolation for another two weeks.