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Cyprus

Coronavirus: Positive cases in nunnery rise to 11 (updated)

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A health official on Monday sounded the alarm concerning Covid cases in 24-hour facilities as more nuns tested positive for coronavirus in a Larnaca-based nunnery.

Eleven out of the 12 nuns who live in the specific nunnery have so far tested positive, the head of the contact tracing team of the health ministry Valentinos Silvestros told the CyBC on Monday.

Initially, six nuns were said to have tested positive, it was reported on Saturday. All six, who are not vaccinated, had been hospitalised.

Three of them remain in hospital, said the spokesman of the state health services organisation (Okypy) Charalambos Charilaou.

Cases in such 24-hour facilities such as nunneries, monasteries and nursing homes are few, but extremely concerning, the spokesman said.

According to Silvestros, the chain of transmission has been linked to a guided tour of foreign tourists during the August holiday weekend celebrating the dormition of the Virgin Mary.

The tourists were said to have visited the nunnery several days prior to the first case.

Silvestros added the contact tracing team is continuously tracing cases of nuns and priests.

Recently three priests, also unvaccinated, tested positive from three separate churches in Limassol. The priests are hospitalised in the ICU of the Limassol general hospital in serious condition, Charilaou said.

Last week, the authorities started administering a third dose to residents of nursing homes and rehabilitation centres, which, according to Charilaou, is expected to reduce serious illness in case of infection.

The third dose of an anti-coronavirus vaccine is administered with either Pfizer or Moderna to anyone aged 65 and older.

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