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Coronavirus: north announces two Covid-19 cases

Two coronavirus cases were announced on Thursday by Turkish Cypriot authorities, while another person tested positive on Wednesday after arriving from Turkey by ferry.

‘Health minister’ Ali Pilli announced on Thursday afternoon that in total three news cases were detected since Wednesday. This brings the total of cases in the north to 111.

Pilli said that of the two cases detected on Thursday, one was a Turkish national and the other a person was from Kazakhstan. Both arrived in the north by plane.

Late on Wednesday, the Turkish Cypriot side had announced that one positive coronavirus case was detected among tests given to people who arrived in the north by ferry.

These were the first cases reported after more than two months since the Turkish Cypriot side had not announced any new cases since April 17.

The people who tested positive were placed in quarantine at a Nicosia hospital while their contacts will be taken into quarantine hotels.

Wednesday was the first day the north allowed the arrival of passengers from abroad without them having to be quarantined after arrival.

After the new case was detected and some other incidents, the Turkish Cypriot side announced that as of Thursday everyone who arrives to the north by air or sea including the airports of Larnaca and Paphos would be taken to quarantine hotels until their coronavirus test results were ready.

Passengers arriving from countries in category A are required to present a negative coronavirus test certificate not older than 72 hours but since usually people arriving from these countries are travelling via Turkey they will be subject to the same rules which apply for arrivals from countries under category B. Passengers from category B countries, have to present a negative coronavirus test and have to take a second test upon arrival.

The initial idea was that passengers would be asked to sign a declaration stating that until the second test results were ready, they would remain at their residence or hotel. But fears were expressed that not everyone would do so after one man, 36, who arrived in the north on Wednesday rushed straight from the airport to get a haircut instead of self-isolating.

On Thursday, Turkish Cypriot authorities announced that the man, in addition to a second, aged 35, who arrived by plane on Wednesday and did not self-isolate until his test results were out, would be prosecuted.

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