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COVID19: Famagusta overtakes Limassol as virus hotspot

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Scientists are gravely concerned over the spread of coronavirus in Famagusta and Nicosia, despite the drop in Limassol and Paphos, previously considered epicentres of the virus.

Presenting their latest epidemiological report, the government’s advisory team on the coronavirus outbreak, said they were particularly worried about Famagusta, which has overtaken Limassol as the new hotspot.

The 14-day cumulative notification rate for Famagusta has risen to 452.3 per 100,000 inhabitants from 383.8 in the previous study released on Friday.

Limassol is second with a 14-day cumulative notification rate of 428.7 per 100,000, down from 465.9.

Cases in Nicosia are also increasing dangerously as the capital now has a 14-day cumulative notification rate of 335.1 per 100,000 up from 284.2.

Larnaca data has also increased to 376 from 272.2 while Paphos is last with just 123 per 100,000 inhabitants, slightly up from 121.

With the exemption of Paphos, all districts are far above the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s benchmark 150 per 100,000.

Talking at a press conference, Dr George Nikolopoulos said that the new epidemiological study, presented on Tuesday, concerned 10,074 positive cases, without any significant changes.

According to the data presented, the high number of cases per day continues, which is largely due to the increased number of tests performed recently.

“In addition to the high rate of positivity, what epidemiologists are closely monitoring is the number of hospital admissions, which continues to be between 9 and 10 per day,” said Nikolopoulos.

He said the percentage of positive cases compared to the number of tests, stabilisation of the epidemiological burden, but also the number of hospital patients, are the criteria determining any relaxation of restrictive measures.

The head of the government’s COVID team, Dr Constantinos Tsioutis, said that as far as hospital admissions of COVID-19 patients are concerned, Cyprus is one of the few countries in Europe with available beds.

He did, however, note that increasing demand for coronavirus beds is putting a strain on other wards.

Dr Tsioutis said Cyprus is one of the few EU countries that have yet to impose a complete lockdown2 but did warn against people gathering at crowded areas such as churches and shopping malls.