COVID19: Alert over mystery cases in Limassol

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Cyprus health authorities are concerned over a number of untraceable ‘orphan’ COVID-19 cases which were detected among the community, especially in Limassol, in recent weeks.

The majority of cases were found in a single district, Limassol, with epidemiologists also fearing the formation of new clusters if the infections cannot be linked to a source.

Worried that these cases are an indication the virus is alive and kicking in the community, health authorities warned the public to be vigilant and adhere to hygiene, social distancing rules if Cyprus is to prevent another wave of infections.

The Health Ministry said Thursday that there is no room for complacency as the number of recent cases which could not be traced back to a travel history or the patient coming into contact with a known coronavirus case is a clear indication the virus is still in the community.

“Complacency and excessive relaxation observed regarding the measures can lead to a derailment of the positive epidemiological indicators.

We all have a responsibility to remain vigilant and disciplined, adhering to the measures of personal protection and social distancing, to prevent a new outbreak in the coming months,” said the Ministry.

The Health Ministry told the Financial Mirror that the majority of infections acquired locally over the past three weeks were ‘orphan’.

“One case involved a Polish citizen who has been reported to be somewhat of a loner, living and working alone with not much contact with other people,” said Margarita Kyriacou, the ministry’s press officer.

Other cases involved a gym instructor at a fitness facility at Limassol Marina and a woman who was sent by her GP to be tested after developing symptoms.

Both cases are Cypriots who had not come into contact with a known case and do not have a recent travel history.

“The fact that most of them were traced in a single district is another worrying factor,” added Kyriacou.

The Ministry also reminded people that if they develop suspicious symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, sudden onset of immunity, loss of taste or indigestion to contact their GP.

If their GP deems it necessary, they will be sent to for testing through the public health system.

In the case of a test returning positive, the person will have to self-isolate at home, unless their condition demands that they be admitted to a hospital.

Cyprus has reported 1,040 COVID-19 cases since the first two cases were reported on 9 March.

According to the Ministry’s latest epidemiological data updated on 16 July, out of 879cases for which the place of exposure was known, locally acquired infections make up for 687 of cases (78.2%), of this 8.3% (57) were related to a healthcare facility (General Hospital in Paphos) and 12.2% (84) were reported in Aradippou municipality.