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Update – 22/03/2020

  • Cyprus registered its first death from coronavirus on Saturday involving an individual who had underlying health issues. In an announcement late on Saturday night, the Health Ministry said a patient, initially admitted to Paphos General Hospital with low life expectancy as he suffered from liver cirrhosis, acute liver failure, acute renal failure and chronic heart problems, had died. He had tested positive for COVID-19 after tests were carried out among contacts of another patient at the same clinic who had tested positive, something which aggravated his condition. The patient had been transferred for further treatment to Famagusta General Hospital in Paralimni, which is the referral hospital for COVID-19, where he died tonight. The deceased is understood to be British, aged 70. Earlier on Saturday the Health Ministry had announced nine new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 84.
  • A fourth Turkish Cypriot has tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number in the Turkish-held north to 35, the Turkish Cypriot media reported. The other three are two Turkish Cypriots who had travelled to the UK and the spouse of one of them. The remaining 31 are all German tourists, part of a a group of 141 who have been in quarantine at hotels in the north after the first case — a 65 year old woman — tested positive. The fourth Turkish Cypriot to test positive contracted the virus from contact with other confirmed cases, according to the same media reports. The first three tourists who tested positive have since recovered and were yesterday discharged from hospital. Those tourists who are in good health will return home by charter flight on Tuesday, once their 14 day quarantine is over.
  • The Health Ministry late on Saturday issued clarifications regarding a new decree that came into force this morning requiring supermarkets and pharmacies to cater only for vulnerable groups from 7 am to 10 am. Under the decree adopted yesterday and applicable from today, supermarkets and pharmacies can only allow three groups of clients to shop between 7 am and 10 am — those belonging to vulnerable groups (as defined on March 16), those aged 60 and over and the disabled. The aim is to protect those most vulnerable to the virus from being exposed to large groups of people and also allow them to shop with less pressure. Rules are also in place which prohibit indoor gatherings of more than 75 people and limit the number of people indoors to one person per eight square metres. The ministry said it was issuing clarifications because the decree had not been strictly respected and because issues had arisen as regards those entitled to shop up until 10 am on the first day.
  • The Nicosia Municipality said on Saturday via social media that the disinfection of public areas by its crews is ongoing. Areas disinfected include all the municipality’s buildings and the Citizen Services Centre.
  • A cruise ship docked in Limassol port is now due to leave on Monday, the ports authority said on Sunday. The ship, part of Celebrity Constellation Cruises, came from India and was not carrying any passengers, with only 904 crew on board. Authorities said the ship requested docking for refuelling, amidst the new protocols announced for entering Cyprus due to the spread of COVID-19. Due to delays over providing the ship with oil, it is now due to depart on Monday, having initially been set to leave on Saturday afternoon.

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