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Cyprus

Coronavirus: five more cases, ten in total on Saturday (Update 3)

Leontios Kostrikis, Professor of Molecular Biology at the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Cyprus (CNA)

Five more confirmed coronavirus cases were announced on Saturday afternoon, following five earlier in the day in Limassol, the health ministry announced.

The 10 cases in total on Saturday brings the total to 1,124.

Of the latest five cases, four came through contact tracing and the fifth was from a private referral.

From the cases announced in the morning, which were all in Limassol, three arose from 242 individuals tested on private initiative, a couple, who presented symptoms and were tested, and another individual, who was a contact of another previously confirmed case.

Two more cases were found from among 527 tests processed from a sampling of 3,000 being taken in Limassol.

Both of these cases are from breaches in self-isolation measure, as one was a contact of a previously confirmed case, and the other was an individual, who presented symptoms and failed to communicate with a doctor, and was instead tested as part of the sampling being conducted in the city.

A total of 990 tests were processed on Friday night.

The ministry also said negative results were received from 135 tests processed on individuals returning to work during the second a third phase of lifting restrictions and 86 from random checks in Larnaca.

Six people are being treated for the virus at Famagusta General, the reference hospital.  The one individual in the high-dependency unit was moved to the normal ward, after showing improved conditions.

One person was also discharged the ministry said.

There was a spike in cases on Friday, when the health ministry announced 25 new cases, and 23 over the two days previous to that.

The ministry said they would be reporting on the coronavirus cases twice a day as of Saturday.

On Friday the government decreed that people must now wear masks in all enclosed public spaces, except children under six. It also imposed other measures on the size of gatherings.

Leontios Kostrikis, Professor of Molecular Biology at the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Cyprus, told CNA that unless the new measures were adhered to, there would be rampant infections in the immediate future.

People need to comprehend the philosophy behind new measures and implement them fully, he added.

Kostrikis, who is also a member of the ministry of health’s scientific team, referred to the 25 cases announced on Friday, saying that the number was “undoubtedly very high.” He urged people to be patient for another three or four days, to see the effects of the new measures. He expressed hope that measures will put a stop to developments witnessed in the last few days, especially in Limassol.

Asked if we are ahead of a second wave or if we are witnessing a resurgence, Kostrikis said that his personal evaluation was that there was a surge in Limassol, where infections are growing stronger. “It seems that there are many cases right now, with more than six chains of infection” he added.

Asked about the possibility of a lockdown in Limassol, if the area produces more cases, the Professor said that this possibility had not been discussed, although it was brought to the table. “This is one solution, but it is not among the probable solutions we would opt for today,” he concluded.



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