COVID19: Mild reprieve as Cyprus cases drop to 152

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After breaking the 10,000 barrier on Saturday, Cyprus reported a lower-than-usual daily report of 152 new cases of COVID-19, as experts believe a two-week partial lockdown as of Monday will help keep infection rates low.

One of the positive cases is Central Bank Governor Constantinos Herodotou who announced in a tweet that he had been diagnosed with coronavirus after the contact tracing.

“I remain in isolation and will be working from home, abiding by all the relevant protocols. I wish we can all soon overcome this challenge of the pandemic,” Herodotou said.

On Saturday, another 248 cases took total infections since March to 10,231.

November is already the worst month on record, posting three-digit cases daily while the month accounts for around 60% of total infections.

Limassol and Paphos are exiting the strict curfews and measures imposed two weeks ago, while the new national measures coming into effect from Monday include a curfew from 9pm, cafes and restaurants closing at 7p, gyms and children’s playgrounds will close until December 13.

The health ministry said 7,614 tests were conducted on Sunday, significantly lower than the daily range of 11,000 and 13,000 of the past week, half of which were the free antigen rapid test kits.

The ministry announcement said 3,213 PCR tests produced 141 positive cases of SARS-CoV-2, while a further 11 cases were confirmed from the less accurate rapid tests conducted on previous days. Three confirmations were returned as negative with the coronavirus.

With the infections reaching a worrying rate among the elderly, the Panayia old people’s home in Limassol counted 14 new cases, one a staff member and 13 elderly inmates.

The total for all positive infections since the pandemic started reached 10,383.

Sunday’s testing included 4,401 samples using the rapid test kits of which 114 were positive that will require confirmation by the molecular PCR system.

These were identified in Limassol (17 cases), Larnaca (25), Famagusta (14), Paphos (8) and Nicosia (49). One positive test was a health sector worker.

Some 119 patients are being treated in state hospitals, of whom 69 are at the Covid-referral clinic of the Famagusta General hospital, which is nearing its capacity.

Meanwhile, the authorities are investigating violations of health protocols during the mass and consecration of the Ayios Filomenos church in Orounta, which was televised live on the state channel CyBC TV on Sunday.

In the television footage, the faithful had clearly exceeded the maximum allowance of 75 people, many standing too close and ignoring the 2m distancing rule and several more not wearing masks.