COVID19: Daily cases in north hit record 1,001

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COVID-19 cases in the occupied north of the island have exploded to unprecedented heights, with Turkish Cypriot health authorities reporting four-digit daily infections for the first time.

Some 1,001 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday night, with authorities certain the new wave of infections sweeping the community is powered by Omicron, the virus’ highly transmissible variant.

Thursday’s record of 1,001 cases follows Wednesday’s 720, with authorities now reporting that 5,240 people are currently infected with the virus.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 referral hospital in the north caters to 71 patients, of which 13 are in critical condition.

The new wave of infections, powered by Omicron, comes as the Turkish Cypriot health authorities had already been fighting a surge of Delta and Delta+ infections in the previous month.

December was the deadliest month for the Turkish Cypriot community since the pandemic, as 37 people lost their lives to the virus.

The first two Omicron cases in the north were found on 21 December, with authorities reporting 29 more Omicron cases on 26 December.

So far, the Turkish occupied north of the island has reported 39,371 COVID-19 cases and 143 deaths since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The Cyprus Republic has confirmed 192,157 cases and 650 deaths.

Divided Cyprus has a combined total of 231,528 infections and 793 deaths.