Four new cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Wednesday, raising the figure to seven across the divide.
According to information received by the Health Ministry by the Institute of Neurology and Genetics that is carrying out coronavirus tests on suspected cases, tests on samples taken from four people emerged positive for the virus.
The four include two persons who arrived from the UK on Tuesday night and showed high temperatures when tested by Larnaca airport police. They were transferred for treatment in specialized rooms in the Nicosia General Hospital.
The third confirmed case involves a person who was admitted for treatment at the Limassol General Hospital on Tuesday, after reporting high fever symptoms.
The fourth case involves a person in self-isolation, and who had also presented symptoms similar to coronavirus.
The Health Ministry’s Epidemiological Observation Unit said it has already began attempts to trace the contacts of the four confirmed cases so that blood samples can be sent for specialized tests.
The four were later on Wednesday transferred to the Famagusta General Hospital, the hospital selected to deal exclusively with coronavirus cases in the event that a pandemic spreads.
The condition of the Wednesday's four confirmed cases was reportedly out of danger.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases rise to six in government-controlled areas
The four new confirmed cases on Wednesday brought the total number of cases in the south to six, after coronavirus was detected on Monday in the blood a 64-year-old state doctor and a 25-year-old man in Limassol.
The case involving the 64-year-old, the head of Cardiac Surgery at Nicosia General Hospital, had aggravated public opinion, as he had returned to work upon returning from the UK on March 3 and had failed to self-isolate himself upon noticing symptoms.
Though concern was high over the number of people, including patients, the doctor could have infected, news emerged on Tuesday night that all 152 samples taken from the contacts that shared the hospital environment with the 64-year-old emerged negative for the virus. More samples from the doctor’s contacts are expected.
The 25-year-old confirmed coronavirus case had returned to the island from Milano on February 26 and began showing symptoms on March 5, with tests later confirming he carried the virus.
Efforts by the Health Ministry to locate and collect blood samples from all contacts of the initial two confirmed cases was continuing all through Wednesday, with new rounds of contact tracing being activated after the diagnosis of coronavirus in four more people.
One confirmed case in the north
The northern part of the divided island saw one confirmed case of coronavirus on Tuesday, involving a 65-year-old tourist from Germany.
The woman was in quarantine at the public hospital in northern Nicosia on Wednesday, when Turkish Cypriot ‘Health Minister’ Ali Pilli announced that all samples taken from five more suspected cases emerged negative.
Turkish Cypriot authorities ordered all schools closed through Monday, while the decision was scheduled to be re-evaluated over the weekend.
Maintenance and health crews were seen disinfecting public areas including checkpoints after a German tourist rested positive, with a group of visitors isolated and three hotels under quarantine enforced by Turkish Cypriot police.