COVID19: Divided Cyprus cases jump to 10,000

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As new daily COVID-19 cases in the Republic continue to ratchet three-digits, divided Cyprus has quickly notched up 10,000 infections while reporting 49 deaths attributed to the virus.

As health authorities struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus, divided Cyprus reached the five-digit sum on Monday, 8,947 of which were reported in the Republic.

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

The republic’s health services have been reporting triple-figure cases for almost a month with an average of 1,300 cases every week.

With still another week to go, November has already become the worst month on record since the pandemic in March with 4,539 recorded cases, surpassing October which had 2,611 new cases.

November and October cases amount to 7,150, or 79.9% of the 8,947 cases recorded in the Republic.

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 1053 cases reported since March.

For November, authorities in the north confirmed 115 cases, reaching double-digit numbers just on three occasions with the highest of 17 new cases reported on Saturday.

On Monday, the Cyprus Republic announced another 262 COVID-19 cases, up from Sunday’s 187, and Saturday’s 245.

Turkish Cypriot authorities reported just two infections on Monday.

These new COVID-19 cases take the combined total islandwide to exactly 10,000 and 49 deaths, just five of which were in the north.

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

Recently, the Turkish Cypriot authorities announced that they would only allow people to cross to the north if they could provide a negative coronavirus test conducted within the past 24 hours.

However, the regime backtracked on that decision Monday, as the Cyprus News Agency reported that they will be going back to asking for a negative PCR test taken in the past 72 hours before crossing.

The government had raised the matter with the UN, arguing that the new rules meant it was practically impossible to cross over to the north.

The matter was discussed at the bicommunal technical committee on health.

In comments to CNA, the Greek Cypriot co-chairman Leonidas Phylactou said they told their Turkish Cypriot colleagues that there was no time to get a PCR so frequently.

The restriction meant residents of the Tylliria region were prevented from travelling to Nicosia through the Limnitis crossing point as were teachers working in Rizokarpaso schools.

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 reported a total of 453,535 cases and 12,511 deaths while the average number of daily cases in November is well over 3,000.

Turkey reported a record 6,713 new cases and 153 more deaths on Monday.

Since opening its airport on 1 July, the north has seen 880 cases recorded out of a total of 1,053 since the outbreak began.

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