Medical and healthcare workers in the struggle to tackle coronavirus at Nicosia General Hospital (Photo PIO)

COVID19: Cyprus cases shoot up again to 15, state boosts Limassol testing

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Coronavirus infections continue unabated in Cyprus with ten of the 15 new cases announced on Sunday found in Limassol, as the reported cases remain in double digits.

Cyprus health authorities announced five new SARS-CoV-2 infections were discovered after testing in private labs, while the ten resulted from targeted sampling of 611 individuals from a state-sponsoring programme that aims to test 3,000 people in Limassol.

The total number of Covid-19 cases now rises to 1,139.

Clusters have formed in Limassol after groups of infections were reported, first in several gyms around town, including the one in Limassol Marina, followed by further infections among staff at restaurants and cafés in Limassol Marina, where social distancing and personal hygiene rules were violated.

Another cluster was found in Limassol after a women returning from the U.S. apparently broke the self-isolation and quarantine rules, hosting a birthday bash for her daughter. As a result of this irresponsibility, a further seven coronavirus cases were discovered through contact tracing leading back to the party.

As of Saturday, August 1, police have fined tens of individuals and establishments in all towns, where the new social distancing rules were not kept, including the mandatory use of masks in all indoor places. The rule also applies to all ages, starting from children aged 6 and up. The penalty for the violation is €300.

Saturday also saw the arrival of the first five flights with tourists from the UK, with Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos saying that all planes had arrived with about 65% capacity. He said a total of 50 flights from all destinations arrived on Saturday, with this trend continuing throughout August, as the island’s hard-hit tourism and hotels sector try to recover from huge losses.

Karousos said that increased random testing would continue at Larnaca and Paphos airports, regardless if the passengers are Cypriots or other eligible permanent residents returning, or if they are from Category B countries, such as the UK, from where an all-clear test must be secured 72 hours prior to the flight and the Cyprus government declaration is duly submitted.

Police said on Sunday that some passengers had been fined at the airports for not filling in the CyprusFlightPass document and not revealing facts such as original country of departure.