Cyprus continues to record negative milestones in this second wave of coronavirus with Saturday’s daily count touching a record 314 while there was one more COVID-19 death reported as the Health Ministry said hospitals are near capacity.
Despite the government introducing a raft of measures including mask-wearing, early closing of hospitality venues and a night-time curfew the virus has not abated.
While other European countries, including Greece, have gone into lockdown, Cyprus has tried to avoid this scenario hoping that tighter restriction will work.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou again pleaded with the public on Saturday to observe protocols and guidelines to save the health system and stay safe.
A large chunk of Saturday’s cases was from at the CYPRA abattoir and meat processing plant in Nicosia where 92 infections were found from 146 tests.
“Events like this are extremely worrying because they undermine the collective effort to tackle the health crisis,” said Ioannou in a statement.
Ioannou said this many cases at the plant suggested that health and hygiene rules were not being followed and an investigation is underway with the premises remaining closed.
He said despite the many public pleas and guidelines issued in “many cases an inexcusable indifference prevails”.
There were an additional 222 cases from 4,072 regular tests taking the total since the outbreak in March to 5,871.
At the end of September, the total was only 1,755. The number of COVID cases have almost trebled in a matter of weeks.
An 82-year-old man also died of the virus at the COVID-19 referral hospital Famagusta General, this takes the total number of deaths to 27.
Since the outbreak 18 men and nine women have died of COVID in Cyprus with an average age of 74.
“The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 is one of the highest recorded since the beginning of the pandemic in Cyprus,” said the Health Ministry in a statement.
It said the number of intubated patients is gradually but steadily increased to seven from 4 on October 30.
“Although the number of patients in ICUs remains in single digits if the spread of the virus in the community continues at the same high levels, it is only a matter of days before there are more in hospital.”
There are 53 patients being treated at Famagusta General and another 16 at Nicosia General.
Also, among Saturday’s test results were 94 cases found through private initiative, 64 from the track and trace process and 44 were detected among airport arrivals.