COVID19: Cyprus cases reach worrying heights

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Cyprus reported a sharp rise of 30 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday with the majority linked to football clubs, Larnaca clusters and travel.

Tuesday’s cases are nearly double the number announced the previous day (17).

The 30 cases were tracked down after 2,685 tests were carried out, bringing the total of COVID-19 cases to 1,743.

Ten of them were linked to clusters formed at football clubs as four players from second division ASIL Lysis were found positive to the virus, including a teenage school student training with the club’s academy.

Another four of these cases were family members of players at topflight club Ethnikos Achnas, one more was related to an Omonia FC player.

A teenager training with Nea Salamina’s academy team was also positive.

A member of the UN peacekeeping force, UNFICYP, who recently arrived from the UK was among the eight cases with recent travel history.

The other seven had recently travelled to Germany, Lebanon, Ukraine, Russia and the UK.

A Larnaca cluster originated at an Ocean Basket restaurant in Phinikoudes is growing as another person related to an employee tested positive.

A cluster from a high school student in Limassol has grown to four, as a fellow student of the teenage girl also tested positive.

Another three people related to a case who arrived from Greece on 26 September, take infections in that cluster to five.

In total 13 people were found to be positive through the Health Ministry’s track and trace testing scheme.

The Health Ministry expressed its concern as an increasing number of people who should be marked down as close contacts of known cases are not being revealed to the track and tracing teams.

“This phenomenon is of great concern, as it poses obstacles to the process of tracking, isolating contacts of confirmed cases while greatly increasing the likelihood of uncontrolled spread of the virus,” the Health Ministry said.

Meanwhile, 16 patients are being treated at Famagusta General, the referral hospital for coronavirus, four are in the hospital’s Acute Care Unit (ACU).