COVID19: Turkish Cypriots report 9 new cases, islandwide total 1,572

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Authorities in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus have reported nine more COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infections on both sides of the divide to 1,572 and 24 deaths.

Cases reported in the north now stand at 221 and four deaths since the outbreak in March.

Republic of Cyprus health authorities on Monday confirmed another 12 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total number of infections to 1,351 and 20 deaths.

The nine coronavirus cases in the north were confirmed on Monday evening by Alli Pilli, head of the Turkish Cypriot health authorities.

Pilli said that all nine new cases – following Sunday’s three – involved three people arriving by air, and one by sea, without giving details of their nationality.

The other five cases all involved local infections.

They were identified after 2,412 tests were carried out on Monday, with health authorities in the north focussing on people arriving on ferries and by air.

The Turkish Cypriot authorities have now reported 116 coronavirus cases in 47 days, since July 1 when the north opened up its ports of entry to travellers, arriving mainly from coronavirus-struck Turkey.

Passengers from Turkey are of particular concern as the country has reported a total of 250,542 cases and 5,996 deaths, while daily cases in the first half of August were around 1200, up from an average of 1,000 in July.

Before opening up ports of entry, the north had seen a 75-day lull reporting zero cases since 17 April. The resurgence of the virus had begun on the first day the north opened its ports of entry and initially lifting an obligatory quarantine for arrivals from Turkey.