COVID19: December deadliest month for Turkish Cypriots

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December is already the deadliest month for the Turkish Cypriot community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as 30 people have lost their lives to the virus.

Turkish Cypriot health authorities face a new surge of COVID-19 infections, reporting a daily record of 324 cases on 7 December.

Since then, the number of cases has dropped, but the accumulation of hospitalisations from recent weeks has increased deaths.

On Tuesday alone, Turkish Cypriot health authorities reported four deaths.

So far, the Turkish occupied north of the island has reported 131 deaths since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Some 55 patients are treated in the north’s referral hospital for COVID-19.

On Tuesday, 194 new cases were reported by Turkish Cypriot health authorities.

Omicron, the coronavirus’ latest variant, has yet to be detected in the north.

But authorities believe it is only a matter of time before another explosion of COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations.

So far, the surge in the north has been powered by the Delta and Delta+ variants.

In December, some 4,608 new cases were reported, taking the total to 33,493.

The vaccination rate in the north is similar to the Republic, with over 80% of adults double vaccinated.

Health authorities in the north rely heavily on Sinovac vaccines coming from Turkey.

The Republic confirmed another 806 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

The total number of infections in the Republic since March 2020 is 146,802 cases and 623 deaths.

Divided Cyprus has confirmed a combined 180,295 cases and 754 COVID deaths.