COVID19: After calm, Cyprus cases leap to 152

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Cyprus reported a near-record 152 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 on Tuesday, the second highest number ever since the pandemic broke, with health officials worried that hospital admissions are also expected to increase.

Monday’s case count was 43, following from Sunday’s 63 and Saturday’s record 202. October already accounts for a third of all infections since March.

The total for the Republic of Cyprus now stands at 2,839, with 24 patients being treated in hospitals, two of whom remain intubated.

The majority of the new Covid-19 cases resulted from about 2,360 tests on individuals who showed one symptom or more, while 23 positive results arose from contact tracing.

Of 929 tests on arriving passengers at Larnaca and Paphos airports, as well as returning Cypriots or permanent residents, a mere two Covid-19 cases were reported.

The ministry of health also said that tests as part of targeted programmes focusing on schools, football clubs and care homes, all came back with a negative result.

A health ministry spokesperson warned about the rising number of symptomatic cases, suggesting that as a result the number of hospital admissions may rise at a worrying rate.

“Some 18 new cases were discovered from tests at state hospitals, of which only two were from pre-admission tests. The rest were referred from their GPs because they had symptoms,” the spokesperson said.

“Furthermore, more than 70% of the 2,360 tests by private initiative, had symptoms and many of these were contacts and the symptoms appeared as they were in self-isolation,” she said.

“The increase in symptomatic people will consequently result in an increase of patients who will need treatment and services from the intensive care units. The number of people who are being treated is already increased, as are the possibilities over the next few days to have more admissions both in general hospital wards and specialised units,” the spokesperson concluded.

Earlier on Tuesday, experts said they believe the coronavirus is now widespread in the Cypriot community, no longer confined to small and local clusters while a growing number of people are exhibiting symptoms or need treatment.

Epidemiologists have despaired as a large number of people infected are reporting an even greater number of close contacts which make the tracking and tracing process harder.