Cyprus Mail

Majority of imported coronavirus cases were asymptomatic, expert says

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The majority of imported Covid-19 cases recorded in Cyprus in the last few weeks were asymptomatic an expert said, stressing the importance of obtaining a detailed picture regarding the itinerary of passengers flying to Cyprus via transit from countries not deemed safe.

Member of the scientific advisory team and Professor of microbiology and molecular virology of the University of Nicosia’s Medical School, Petros Karayiannis said authorities need to have a detailed picture regarding the itinerary of passengers flying to Cyprus from countries listed as category C via transit.

He was commenting on the detection on Saturday of two coronavirus cases among people who had arrived from countries in category C, which is all other countries not includes in categories A and B that are deemed safer. He said there was no particular concern but this type of information was necessary.

Among the two new cases announced on Saturday, one individual was a Cypriot who arrived from Egypt after stopping over in another country and the other was from the Philippines who also arrived in Cyprus after a stopover in another country.

The professor explained that some passengers may interrupt their journey at an intermediate destination for a short period of time before continuing their journey to Cyprus. Even if they possess a certificate that they are Covid-19 negative, they may catch the virus while in transit, therefore caution is advised, he added.

Karayiannis also said that the overall epidemiological situation in Cyprus is very good.

“A lot of time passed since the beginning of the pandemic and most [patients] have fully recovered,” he said. The remaining cases are people who arrived from abroad during the last two to three weeks, he said, adding that “the majority of those who have been detected were asymptomatic, thus they were not admitted to the reference hospital.”

As regards the procedure applying to passengers coming from category C countries, Karayiannis said that upon their arrival they need to fill out a document, providing details about their point of departure and transit countries. They are then tested for the virus since many are not able to secure a certificate from the country they departed. People remain confined for 24 hours until results are ready and then they must self-isolate for another two weeks, he said.

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