COVID19: Cyprus reports 14 more cases, 8 from random testing

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The Cyprus health authorities reported 14 new SARS-CoV-2 cases on Thursday, the same as the day before, raising the total number of coronavirus infections to date to 1,305.

The Health Ministry said that four cases resulted from contact tracing relating to previously reported cases, two were travel related and resulted from 1,368 tests at airports, and eight were discovered from a random testing of 631 samples from a national programme aimed at 10,000 people.

Reports suggest all eight were identified from among 463 samples in Paphos, some of whom are visiting the town on holiday.

The two travel-related cases were Cypriots returning from holidays in Thessaloniki on Wednesday. One more case from a traveller returning from Thessaloniki was reported on Wednesday.

Greece was recently downgraded to a Category B destination, meaning that travel to and from that country could not be test-free. Greek nationals need to secure a negative test result 72 hours prior to travel to Cyprus, while returning Cypriots could be tested upon arrival at Larnaca or Paphos airport.

Of the remaining four cases, one is linked to a cluster in Larnaca formed when a woman returned from the US, and despite knowing she tested positive for Covid-19, she proceeded to host a birthday party for her daughter, infecting at least 30 people so far.

Despite this being a health risk, the Justice Ministry said the woman was under ‘supervision’ at her home.

However, health officials are worried that two more infections were discovered from another pool party and warned the public, especially young people under 45, to remain vigilant and adhere to the personal health and safety rules to prevent further transmissions.

Earlier in the day, health officials also said that testing so far has found four more people as being infected from the pool party attended by about 40 guests.

They added that there was a high risk of creating new ‘chains’ of infection as the local holiday season reaches its climax, with many cancelling their vacations overseas and staying home, or opting to go to local hotels.

On Tuesday, the minister of health and the scientific advisory committee announced that the spread of the coronavirus seems to be thinning and the situation seems to be improving, allowing for a partial relaxation of measures for the port town of Limassol that had seen a disproportionate increase in Covid19 infections in recent weeks.