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COVID19: Death toll rising among UK Cypriots

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The UK Cypriot community is feeling the brunt of Britain’s coronavirus surge, as in the last week 75 Greek and Turkish Cypriots lost their lives to COVID-19.

Reportedly, in London alone, 70 diaspora members succumbed to the coronavirus in the last week, of which 30 were Greek Cypriots and 40 Turkish Cypriots.

Outside London, there were another five Greek Cypriots one each from Leeds, Cheltenham, Coventry, Leicester, and Mansfield who have lost their lives to the disease.

UK Cypriots make up 4.31% of all COVID-19 deaths recorded in London as more than 437 diaspora Greek and Turkish Cypriots have lost their lives to the virus.

According to London-based Greek Cypriot newspaper Parikiaki, to date, at least 480 UK Cypriots (Greek, Turkish and Maronite) have died from COVID-19.

The figure includes 437 in London and 43 outside London.

Parikiaki’s figures are derived from contacting local hospitals, churches and Turkish Cypriot media and community, funeral directors, and death announcements.

“The total fatalities now include 253 UK Greek Cypriots, 183 UK Turkish Cypriots and one UK Maronite Cypriot, all from London.

“Included are six cases of married couples, two cases of two brothers and two cases of fathers and sons,” Parikiaki reported.

According to the data collected by Parikiaki, outside London, there were fatalities among Cypriots living across the UK from Derby to Liverpool and Glasgow.

Britain’s minister in charge of COVID-19 vaccinations Nadhim Zahawi said that once everyone in the top priority groups had been reached, he favours moving onto groups such as teachers and the police rather than bringing forward second doses.

Some High Street pharmacies in England started vaccinating people from priority groups on Thursday, with 200 providing jabs in the next two weeks.

But pharmacists say many more sites should be allowed to give the jab, not just the largest ones.

More than 2.6 million people in the UK have now received their first dose.

Across the UK, the target is to vaccinate 15 million people – care home residents and workers, NHS frontline staff, the over-70s and the extremely clinically vulnerable – by mid-February.

The vaccines – made by either Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech – are being administered at hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries and vaccination centres.

On Wednesday, the UK saw its highest number of daily reported coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, with 1,564 deaths of people within 28 days of a positive Covid test.

It takes the total number of UK deaths to 84,767. Another 47,525 new cases were also recorded.