Medical and healthcare workers in the struggle to tackle coronavirus, at Nicosia General Hospital, Cyprus

COVID19: October ‘worst month’ with more than half cases so far

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October has been the worst month during the coronavirus pandemic in Cyprus, with Friday’s 166 new cases raising the monthly total to 2,462, more than half so far.

The health ministry said to date, Cyprus has recorded 4,217 cases of SARS-CoV-2, justifying the need to add more beds to the coronavirus ward at Famagusta General, with the hospital bracing for an influx of patients needing treatment.

In all, 34 patients are being treated at state hospitals.

COVID-19 referral hospital Famagusta General has evacuated its pathology ward to make more room for coronavirus patients as their numbers have shot up this week.

The hospital received instructions to empty the unit after the large increase in cases in recent days.

Some 22 patients who were treated in the ward with conditions such as cardiological problems were transferred to other wards of the hospital, private clinics, and some to Larnaca General.

Friday’s cases raised the weekly total since last Saturday to 903, with the rapid spread of the virus forcing at least three cabinet members into isolation this week due to their contacts with persons who had tested for Covid-19.

The vast majority of cases are local transmissions, as people continue to take personal safety measures lightly and despite harsh fines, do not adhere to strict regulations, such as social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings, in homes or for events.

Of the 887 tests conducted on passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, only seven tested positive.

However, due to the deteriorating situation, Britain on Thursday removed Cyprus from the ‘safe travel list’. This means that people arriving in the UK from Cyprus will have to quarantine from Sunday.

On Friday, travel giant Thomas Cook said it was dropping Cyprus holiday packages and flights from its programme after the island was added to the UK’s travel quarantine list.

Four new coronavirus cases were reported in the occupied north on Friday, raising the total for the month to 174 and all cases to date to 931.

Combined, the island has reported 5,148 cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic started on the island.