COVID19: New cases drop to 9 as Cyprus monitors clusters

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Health authorities announced nine new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, five of which were linked to earlier discovered clusters, while the rapid rate of infections that has so far stormed through three first division football clubs, seems to be subsiding.

The ministry of health said it conducted 2,893 lab tests during the past 24 hours targeting airport arrivals, pre-op checks at hospitals, contact tracing and random tests at schools and among 5,000 people in the 18-40 age group who attend events or gatherings with large crowds.

The new cases of SARS-CoV-2 raised the total infections in the Republic to 1,663, with 12 people being treated at the Famagusta General reference hospital, one of whom is in intensive care.

The clusters involving football clubs, primarily in the Larnaca and Famagusta districts, had caused panic as it benched two clubs so far, Nea Salamina and Ethnikos Achnas, while a player at the latter club who tested positive, was also coaching at Omonia Aradippou, which is also under surveillance.

The health ministry said that of the nine new coronavirus cases, five were discovered through contact tracing.

One is a nurse at Larnaca General who had been in contact with an infected nurse the day before. Three others were discovered from the family circle of the same nurse, one of whom showed symptoms on Tuesday and the other two had recently returned from Poland. This cluster has now grown to eight people.

The fifth new case was the wife of a confirmed case who had a fever last Sunday.

Two new cases were discovered through individual testing. One had been asymptomatic, but was obliged to be tested prior to returning to work, while the other was a woman from Nepal who travelled via Qatar on September 18, arriving on a work visa and was also asymptomatic prior to testing.

Of the remaining new cases, one was a foreign national who arrived from Frankfurt on Wednesday, while another was a foreign national who had the symptoms fever, cough and short of breath and checked into the Famagusta General on Wednesday.

The health ministry added that no new cases were discovered from the cluster at a public school in Aradippou. It said in an announcement that the persons who were ordered into self-isolation had been in contact with the player-coach from Omonia Aradippou.