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COVID19: Cyprus remains on ECDC red list

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After an increase in cases, Cyprus remains in the red danger zone on the COVID-19 epidemiological risk map compiled by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The latest epidemiological risk assessment list was uploaded on ECDC’s website on Thursday.

Three weeks ago, Cyprus had been upgraded to orange but was pushed back down to red just after a week.

It had struggled to get out of the highest-risk ‘dark red’ zone it had fallen into in July when Covid-19 cases reached four-digit figures.

The fourth wave of infections, powered by the deadlier and more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, pushed daily cases up to 1,152 in mid-July.

Red zone areas are where the 14-day cumulative COVID-19 case notification rate ranges from 75 to 200, and the test positivity rate is 4% or more, or the 14-day cumulative case rate is over 200 but less than 500 (when the cumulative rate exceeds 500, the area is “deep red”).

Cyprus has succeeded in maintaining a test positivity rate below 1% in September and October, but daily cases are regularly in triple digits.

On Thursday, health authorities reported another 109 new cases with a positivity rate of 0.45%.

Although the number of cases on Thursday was just over half the 200 reported on Wednesday, a low number of tests due to the holiday sent the positivity rate up from 0.36%.

Cyprus has reported 124,017 COVID-19 cases and 571 deaths since March 2020.

According to the latest ECDC map, several areas in France have been upgraded from orange to green.

More areas are also now considered safe in Spain and Italy, with improvement noted in Norway and Sweden.

Iceland, part of the Netherlands, Czechia and Poland, and areas in Greece have entered the orange category.

Meanwhile, Germany, Belgium, Austria, and a significant part of Hungary remain in the red zone.

Also, the Baltic countries, Romania, a large portion of Bulgaria, areas in Greece and a significant part of Slovenia and Croatia continue to be in the deep red category.

ECDC publishes data every Thursday supporting the European Council recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the pandemic.

Its epidemiological map is a guideline for EU member states to form their safe travel lists, and Cyprus in the red makes things harder for local tourism.