Cyprus reported 12 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 on Sunday, with six of the coronavirus infections involving football players or their immediate contacts. On Saturday, the total was 13 new cases.
This raises the total coronavirus infections in the Republic to 1,696, but is what worrying the authorities is that 17 patients are being treated at various hospitals, a number not seen since the early days of the pandemic.
On Friday, following the creation of COVID-19 hotspots at two top-flight football clubs, the Health Ministry and the Cyprus Football Association announced a series of new measures to stem the virus from spreading among players.
According to a joint statement issued by the CFA and the health ministry, they decided to get tougher on clubs violating health protocols while taking measures to prevent clusters forming.
Reportedly, the two sides also decided on Friday to investigate whether violations of protocols by the clubs involved also constitute criminal offences.
The health ministry said that of Sunday’s six football related cases, one was a player in Asil FC who was discovered from among 3,000 tests targeted in Larnaca District where several clusters have formed recently.
Another is a player for Omonia Nicosia FC, who although initially was tested negative, was retested according to football federation protocols and was found to be positive.
Two more cases were discovered through contact tracing and are relatives of a Covid19-infected player from Ethnikos Achnas, another was discovered from the professional circle of Ethnikos Achnas players, while one other is a relative of a positive-tested player from Nea Salamina, who in turn had already infected two other people a few days earlier.
Of the remaining cases, one is a high school student from Limassol. She had showed symptoms with fever on September 18.
Two others involved Russians who live in Cyprus and had returned from holidays in Russia on Friday. Initially, they presented negative tests upon arrival which they said they done on Wednesday, September 23. However, one of them had Covid-19 symptoms and underwent a second test.
One case was discovered from a pre-op test of a patient who was submitted on Friday.
Another was a contact with a person in a cluster formed in Larnaca from the surroundings of the Bishop of Kition. He had initially been tested with a negative result, but his family doctor requested a second test to release him from quarantine. This time round, the test was positive.
The final case was the fifth person among a group of six from the Czech Republic who arrived on the island on a professional training visit on September 15 and tested positive for Covid-19. That cluster, including their contacts in Cyprus, has so far reached seven people.