COVID19: Cyprus cases drop to 13, no footballers, 3 are students

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Cyprus health officials announced 13 new SARS-CoV-2 cases on Sunday, after a week of rapid changes that saw daily reports exceed 30, many linked to a worrying cluster growth among football clubs in Larnaca district.

In all, health authorities conducted 3,177 tests, with the new Covid-19 cases raising the total for the Republic of Cyprus since the pandemic started in March to 1,824, of whom three are high school students.

Eight patients continue to be treated at the Famagusta General reference hospital, three of whom in intensive care. Two more coronavirus patients remain intubated at Nicosia General and one more patient is being treated at another state hospital.

Of the new cases, one is a student from a private Limassol school where others had also been infected during an after-school event, with an identical case from another Limassol student from a public gymnasium, also infected at an after-school event. A third was a student from a Limassol gymnasium who had stayed away from school after he came into contact with a confirmed case on September 28.

One new case is a family member of a confirmed case announced on Friday from a pre-admission test at a state hospital.

Two were passengers who arrived from Poland on Saturday, and were part of 1,226 tests conducted on all arrivals.

Among earlier passengers who tested positive, one had arrived from Italy on September 23 and showed first symptoms three days later. Another arrived from Russia on 21 September and needed a negative test result to be released from quarantine. One arrived from Serbia on Saturday with a negative test on hand from two days earlier and was submitted to a new test that was positive, and a fourth travelled from Paris on September 27 and showed first symptoms three days later.

The remaining cases were individuals who showed symptoms, for whom a track-and-trace process has begun to identify other infections from among family or work.

However, health ministry officials said they were concerned about a rogue case that tested positive through private initiative, but could not be traced or identified from private lab tests.

They added that the good news was that of 337 tests conducted on football players and their immediate environment, no new cases were reported, following a string of daily cases that appeared over the past two weeks, especially among players and club officials from Nea Salamina, Ethnikos Achnas and Asil.

All three football clubs had common players or trainers, while in a handful of cases some teenagers played or trained with junior teams, were infected and then transmitted to school mates.