The health ministry announced 12 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, when 3,147 tests were conducted, raising total known cases in the Republic of Cyprus to 1,755.
One case was detected among the 655 samples collected from people who took the initiative to get tested for the virus, involving a person who flew in from Russia on September 18 and took the test on the 12th day of their quarantine, with the test coming back positive.
Seven more cases were detected among the 180 samples collected in the framework of contact tracing. Three are family contacts of a player for the second division club ASIL Lysi, who was announced positive on Sunday. Three more are family contacts of a UK national who flew to Cyprus for vacations and who was announced positive on Monday. Another person detected was a contact of a player for first division club Ethnikos Achnas who was announced positive on September 22.
Three cases were detected among the 875 samples collected in the framework of the random sampling program targeting 3,000 people in the Larnaca district. The first had developed symptoms on Monday, as did the second, which is an employee of a company owned by an executive of Ethnikos Achnas and an employee in a department of the club. Due to the large number of cases in the cluster at the Ethnikos Achnas club, it instructed all employees to get tested through the program, through which another person who is an employee of the company of an Ethnikos Achnas executive tested positive.
Wednesday’s final new case was detected among the 939 samples collected at Cyprus airports, involving a person who arrived at Paphos airport from Manchester on Tuesday.
The island’s main coronavirus hospital in Famagusta is currently treating 11 coronavirus patients, three of which are in the ICU, while one patient was transferred from Famagusta to the Nicosia general hospital and is receiving treatment in the ICU.
Health ministry calls on public to follow protocols
According to the health ministry’s announcement, so far, 16 positive cases have been detected through the random sampling program ongoing in Larnaca, of which four had symptoms, and instead of contacting their GP for instructions, they went to the station set up for the program. Additionally, seven were part of the ASIL Lysi cluster and two are close contacts, all of which should have already been isolating and not going out to get tested.
“Beyond the fact that this will likely distort the results of the random sampling program, it also increases the possibilities of the virus spreading to other people there for testing,” the health ministry said.
The ministry also said it was concerned about a case who refused twice to go to a scheduled appointment for testing in the framework of contact tracing and chose instead to take the test privately, again placing others in danger.
“Once again, the health ministry is calling on the public to strictly follow instructions given by the epidemiological surveillance unit in the event that they are close contacts of confirmed cases,” adding that “those who develop symptoms are also pleaded to immediately limit their contact with other people, to isolate, and to contact their GP for medical advice.”
“We are at a very critical stage of the pandemic and the non-adherence to guidelines runs the risk of derailing the situation.”