COVID19: Contrast in cases across Cyprus divide

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Cyprus has managed to contain COVID-19 cases under double figures for two weeks with just three new infections on Friday while across the divide Turkish Cypriots have seen the situation spiral out of control.

All cases reported in the Republic on Friday are considered local infections with two cases linked to close contacts of a known case detected by a state hospital lab on Wednesday.

The third case was a Cypriot who took a private test.

Friday’s results were reported after some 3,108 tests were carried out, bringing the Republic’s COVID-19 total to 1,520.

Of the three cases, only one reported symptoms including muscle pain and a loss of smell.

No positive tests came back from 1,583 samples taken from airport passenger arrivals.

Similarly, no positive cases were found among 506 tests on teachers and school staff.

Three patients are being treated at the COVID-19 reference hospital at Famagusta General with one in the Acute Care Unit.

Another patient at the Nicosia General ICU has been taken off a ventilator and breathing without mechanical support.

In stark contrast, Turkish Cypriot authorities reported another 25 cases on Friday evening taking their total to 541.

Authorities in the Turkish occupied north appear to have lost control over the spread of the virus, as they have recorded 190 cases since the beginning of the month.

Under pressure from the mounting cases, Turkish Cypriot authorities on Wednesday banned all incoming flights until 13 September, citing difficulties in accommodating people who had to be quarantined after arriving.