Cyprus is faced with the first three coronavirus cases as two confirmed cases were announced on Monday night in the Republic of Cyprus (RoC), and one confirmed case in the areas not under the effective control of the RoC government, that was announced on Tuesday morning. The Nicosia General Hospital, the greatest hospital in Cyprus has been placed in quarantine as the southern part of the island has witnessed its first two coronavirus cases. One of the two cases, the patient-zero for Cyprus, is the head of the heart surgical ward in the Nicosia General Hospital, where all operations have been cancelled for 48 hours. Αll the patients in the doctor’s department will be discharged pending testing and will be transferred to private hospitals where possible.The areas where the doctor operated and worked in are all being cleaned and sanitised, and anyone in close contact with him has been called to give a blood sample for testing. Visitation to the hospital has also been cancelled for the next 48 hours, and patients are asked to go to A&E only in emergency situations. While the doctor concerned insists that he had shown no symptoms, the minister of health was adamant that while the doctor presented the symptoms, he still attended his job and came in touch with many people. The medical school of the University of Cyprus is also closed as the doctor in question was also a professor there while the ministry of health is trying to trace everyone who came in contact with the doctor. The second confirmed case in Cyprus is a twenty-five year old from Limassol who had travelled to Northern Italy but had followed the instructions to remain in self-isolation. The tracing is hence easier in the latter case. Deliberations are taking place at various levels as to how to respond to the crisis while calls for strict measures, including the closure of schools are intensifying. Minister of education, Prodromos Prodromou stated that this is not considered by the government yet. The Republic of Cyprus has also updated its travel guidelines while people arriving from France, Germany, the United Kingdom are now also called to remain in self-isolation for 14 days.
The third confirmed case in Cyprus was a German tourist, a woman aged 65, who was staying at a hotel in the Famagusta area, in the region not under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus. The woman who had arrived in the north with thirty people, tested positive for the virus after being quarantined on Monday night. The hotel in which she was staying is now in quarantine. Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot so-called government has urged Turkish Cypriots not to be visiting the south of the island unless it is absolutely necessary. It was also decided for schools and universities to close in the northern part of the island until Monday.
A total of 152 samples were rushed overnight for tests at the Cyprus Institute for Neurology and Genetics. The results of the first 33 are all negative.
Four checkpoints on the Green Line will remain closed until March 14 while a number of private and public schools in Nicosia will suspend operations temporarily as part of measures to contain coronavirus, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou announced on Tuesday. Concerts, parades and events will be cancelled while all indoor gatherings with more than 75 people, including church congregations, are prohibited. Football matches will be held without fans until March 31. The minister was speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Council of Ministers which focused on the coronavirus situation. Ioannou said that the names of the schools which will be closing will be announced by the Education Ministry later today. They are schools where individuals are understood to have come into contact with the doctor who tested positive.