COVID19: Divided Cyprus cases nearing 4,000

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As health authorities struggle to contain coronavirus, divided Cyprus has recorded close to 4,000 COVID-19 infections and 30 deaths.

Health authorities in the Republic of Cyprus seem to be losing the battle to contain the coronavirus outbreak with a roller coaster of daily cases peaking at 202 on Saturday, reporting a total of 1,211 cases in October alone.

October’s cases amount for more than a third of the 2,966 cases reported since the virus outbreak in early March.

On the other hand, Turkish Cypriot authorities seem to be getting a grip on the spread of coronavirus after reporting a spike of 408 cases in September, almost half of the total of 871 cases reported since March.

For October, authorities in the Turkish occupied north have reported 114 cases, reaching double-digit numbers just on three occasions.

On Wednesday, Cyprus Republic authorities reported another 127 COVID-19 cases, reaching three-digit figures for the fourth time in a week, while Turkish Cypriot authorities reported just five infections.

These new COVID-19 cases take the combined total islandwide to 3,837 and 30 deaths.

More alarming, out of the 127 cases reported by the republic’s authorities on Wednesday, the third highest figure, only four were imported, while the rest were locally transmitted, confirming experts concerns over the virus now widespread in the community.

“The ratio between infections and lab tests proved the need to strictly abide with the protection measures as at present one in 25 persons who have been tested, has proven to be positive with the virus,” the Health Ministry said.

Turkish Cypriot authorities have tightened controls on arrivals sending visitors who plan to stay more than three days must automatically quarantine for 14 days.

The vast majority of passengers are from Turkey, which has been of particular concern as the country has reported a total of 353,426 cases and 9,513 deaths, while the average number of daily cases in October was around 1,800.

Turkey reported 2,013 new cases and 68 more deaths on Wednesday.

Since opening the airport on 1 July, the north has seen 494 cases recorded out of a total of 871 since the outbreak began.

Before opening up ports of entry, the north had seen a 75-day lull reporting zero cases since April 17.

The elections for the next Turkish Cypriot leader were originally scheduled to take place on 26 April, but they were postponed for six months due to the coronavirus pandemic.