COVID19: Cyprus surpasses 1,200 cases

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Still struggling to contain the virus spreading, Cyprus on Thursday confirmed 13 new COVID-19 cases, surpassing a total of 1,200 cases reported since the outbreak in March.

Thursday’s cases resulted from a total of 3,468 tests carried out, bringing the total to 1,208.

Three of the new infections have a connection to previously identified COVID-19 cases, with the health authorities avoiding mentioning whether they are related to one of the clusters in Larnaca or Limassol.

They were identified out of 125 tests carried out on contacts of known cases, with one of the cases, however, being tested privately.

Another two cases involve Cypriots with recent travel history, one arriving on Wednesday from Italy via Athens, and the other returning from Manchester on Tuesday. Both are asymptomatic.

Two more cases involve a Romanian couple, permanent residents of Cyprus, who had returned to the island after returning from their holiday in Romania on Wednesday. They are also asymptomatic.

Another four involved people who were privately tested, two Cypriots, a Russian permanent resident and an Indonesian who also resides permanently at the island.

None of the four has a recent travel history.

The two Cypriot patients developed symptoms before being tested.

Another case was a person who was referred by their GP while a second was tested at a hospital microbiological lab.

According to the Health Ministry, there are now four patients being treated at Famagusta General, the reference hospital for COVID-19.

The Health Ministry has announced that it will be stepping up tests as it launched a 10,000 free random testing scheme on Wednesday.

The scheme covers the whole island, in an attempt for experts to get a clearer picture of how the virus is spreading within the community.

Sampling is carried out by mobile units, without, however, authorities giving the exact location and hours of the testing, in an effort to limit the presence of people who either have symptoms or are marked as close contacts of known cases.

Some 3,900 tests will be carried out in Nicosia, 2,800 in Limassol, 1,800 in Larnaca, 550 in Famagusta and 1,070 in Paphos.

Turkish Cypriot authorities also reported another 4 cases taking the total of COVID-19 cases in the Turkish occupied north to 162.