COVID19: Divided Cyprus reports over 8,500 cases

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As the Republic’s health authorities struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus, divided Cyprus has reported 8,519 COVID-19 infections while recording 45 deaths attributed to the virus.

The tally for cases in the Republic is 7,513, while authorities in the Turkish occupied north of the island have reported some 1,006 COVID-19 infections since March.

Health authorities in the Republic of Cyprus are trying to contain the coronavirus outbreak with a roller coaster of daily cases in October and November, peaking at 314 on Saturday 7 November.

With another two weeks to go, November has already become the worst month on record since the pandemic in March with 3,147 recorded cases, surpassing October which had 2,611 new cases.

Cyprus authorities have been reporting triple figures for the past three weeks with an average of 1,292 cases reported every week.

November and October cases amount to 5,758, or 76,6% of the 7,513 cases recorded in the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkish Cypriot authorities seem to have a grip on the spread of coronavirus after reporting a spike of 408 cases in September, almost half of the total 1006 cases reported since March.

For October, authorities in the north reported 181 cases, reaching double-digit numbers just on five occasions.

This month the Turkish Cypriots have reported 68 COVID-19 cases, with daily new cases reaching double figures just once when they confirmed just 10 cases on 7 November.

On Tuesday, Cyprus Republic authorities reported another 228 COVID-19 cases, up from Monday’s 107, and Sunday’s 127.

Turkish Cypriot authorities reported just three infections on Tuesday.

These new COVID-19 cases take the combined total islandwide to 8,519 and 45 deaths, just five of which reported in the north.

The north’s better epidemiological picture combined with the worsening of data in the Republic has given way to political manoeuvres by Ankara and the regime in the north.

The newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, has tauntingly said that a newly built COVID-19 hospital can facilitate up to 100 Greek Cypriot patients.

Authorities in the north inaugurated what has been dubbed a ‘pandemic hospital’ in north Nicosia, during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit on Sunday.

Turkish Cypriot media reported, however, that the hospital is far from being ready to care for any COVID-19 patients.

Turkish Cypriot authorities brought the virus under control after they 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 421,413 cases and 11,704 deaths while the average number of daily cases in November is around 2,700.

Turkey reported a record 3,819 new cases and 103 more deaths on Tuesday.

Since opening its airport on 1 July, the north has seen 880 cases recorded out of a total of 1,006 since the outbreak began.

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