COVID19: Divided Cyprus edging toward 7,000 cases

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As the Republic’s health authorities struggle to contain coronavirus, divided Cyprus has recorded close to 7,000 COVID-19 infections and 32 deaths.

Health authorities in the Republic of Cyprus seem to be fighting a losing the battle to contain the coronavirus outbreak with a roller coaster of daily cases peaking at 314 on Saturday, reporting a total of 1,621 in November so far.

Cases in October, the worst month until now on record since the pandemic in March, saw some 2,611 new cases.

November’s cases so far, and those recorded in October amount to 4,232, or 70.69% of the 5,987 cases recorded in the Republic of Cyprus.

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 reported 181 cases, reaching double-digit numbers just on five occasions.

This month the Turkish Cypriots have reported 35 COVID-19 cases, with daily new cases reaching double figures just once, when they confirmed 10 on Saturday.

On Sunday, Cyprus Republic authorities reported another 116 COVID-19 cases, dropping from Saturday’s 314, only because an unusually low number of 2,803 tests were carried out, as large private labs do not perform tests on the weekend.

Out of the 116 cases reported by the Republic, only 11 were imported, while the rest were locally transmitted, confirming experts concerns over the virus now widespread in the community.

The Turkish Cypriot authorities reported just five infections on Sunday.

These new COVID-19 cases take the combined total islandwide to 6,960 and 32 deaths.

Turkish Cypriot authorities have tightened controls on arrivals sending visitors who plan to stay more than three days to 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 394,255 cases and 10,887 deaths while the average number of daily cases in November so far has been around 2,400.

Turkey reported 2,516 new cases and 84 more deaths on Sunday.

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.