COVID19: Cyprus cases rack-up another three-digit figure

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Health authorities on Friday reported another 160 new cases of COVID-19, as Cyprus struggles to control a much larger second wave of coronavirus.

Friday’s figures are the third highest reported since the beginning of the outbreak in early March after last Saturday’s 202 cases and Thursday’s 188.

This is the fourth day in a row that health authorities confirmed a three-digit figure of daily COVID-19 cases.

Cyprus has accumulated 935 cases in the last seven days. The coronavirus total has now reached 3,314 and 25 deaths.

The vast majority of Friday’s cases, after 4,327 tests were carried out, involved local infections as just 10 were found after random checks at the airports.

Just 51 were found from the ministry’s trace and track procedure while 89 were from private initiative, believed to have been prompted by the appearance of symptoms.

Three were found among people sent to be tested by their GPs and another three by state hospital labs.

Four more were found through a random testing scheme at nursing homes and other institutions.

Experts in infection prevention are expecting to see Cyprus continue to record three-digit numbers of coronavirus cases as the situation will take weeks to get under control.

Epidemiologists earlier on Friday appeared anxious over cases found at hospitals with five major clinics reporting COVID-19 infections among their staff.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, Virologist and Health Ministry advisor on COVID, Peter Karayiannis said cases found at five of the country’s largest private clinics could facilitate the further spread of coronavirus.

He expressed his concern over the three-digit number of new daily cases in recent days, noting that epidemiologists do not have a clear picture of how the virus is spreading.

“We have been reporting three-digit numbers for the last few days, but we are still unable to say the upward trend is continuing or whether we have reached the peak, and we will see cases start to flatten.”

Experts are hoping that recently-imposed measures such as the obligatory use of masks and the curfew in Limassol and Paphos will start to pay off over the next 10 days.

The Health Ministry said 22 patients are currently being treated at Famagusta General, acting as the referral hospital for COVID-19, four are being treated in the Acute Care Unit.

Two patients are on a ventilator at Nicosia General.

On Friday, authorities in the Turkish occupied north of the island reported 11 new COVID-19 cases, reporting double-figures just for the fourth time this month.

This brings the total of COVID-19 cases reported in the north to 885.

Divided Cyprus now has 4,199 COVID-19 cases.