Two new coronavirus cases were detected on Monday, the health ministry announced with the total of confirmed cases now reaching 988. Both new cases were traced among tests carried out among passengers and repatriated people. Their contacts are being traced, the ministry said. In total 1,039 tests were carried out on Monday.
The last patient with coronavirus being treated at the reference hospital of the Famagusta general hospital, an 80-year-old man, was discharged on Monday morning, among a round of applause by the morning shift of the ward. “Number of patients: 0”, read the report for the next shift, said a delighted hospital director Amalia Hadjigianni, said. “Today we all feel joy and are moved,” Hadjigianni said, speaking on behalf of the 120 staff members who worked in the coronavirus ward. “Despite the initial fears, doubts and reservations, through teamwork, diligence and collectivity, we managed to complete the difficult task assigned to us.”
As of the early morning hours of Saturday, Larnaca and Paphos Airports entered Phase B of the action plan which has been formed by the relevant Inter-Ministerial committee. Hermes Airports welcomes its passengers once again, whilst at the same time maintaining at the top of its priorities, the implementation of measures which secure the health of the passengers and staff. Based on the action plan, during Phase B, access to the airports will continue to be allowed only to passengers and staff. Moreover, upon their entry in the terminal buildings, passengers will go through the thermal screening checks. The countries which are included in Phase B will be reevaluated on a regular basis by the Ministry of Health and will be classified accordingly in the categories A, B or C, with Category A having the most positive epidemiological status. Moreover, all passengers who wish to travel to Cyprus should complete all the documents, through the online portal Cyprus Flight Pass and present all the necessary documentation before boarding. Find the updated Covid-19 Destination Protocol here.
Paphos Airport welcomed its first commercial arrival after three months on Sunday night — a Ryanair flight with 128 passengers from Thessaloniki marking the official reopening of the island’s second airport after the Covid-19 lockdown. Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos and Hermes Airports CEO Eleni Kalogerou were on hand to welcome the flight. Speaking to reporters, Karousos said that he had also had an opportunity to see how the health protocols are being implemented and whether they needed any improvement.
The streamlined testing system at airports is up and running in Paphos – with results obtained within 90 minutes – with Larnaca expected to be ready by Thursday. “We’re happy with the process so far – we have simplified the system, ironed out some issues and expecting good results,” Christos Papamichael, communications official of the transport ministry stated. He explained that the quick testing system at airports is not in fact a new type of test but instead laboratory settings have been set up at the airports.
It seems that there are still people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the community, member of the Scientific Advisory Team and Professor of microbiology and molecular virology of the University of Nicosia’s Medical School, Petros Karayiannis, told CNA. He was invited to comment on the latest case detected in Paphos, and which concerns a hotel employee. According to Karayiannis, sporadic COVID-19 cases will continue to emerge, but noted that the latest confirmed case is not causing alarm and was rather expected. What needs to be done is to trace the confirmed case’s contacts and detect the source of the infection, Professor Karayiannis continued. Further investigation is needed, due to the fact that the case was not traced among the contacts of other already confirmed cases, he went on. We need to find out if this is a new or an older case, the Professor said. Asked if there is still community transmission, Karayiannis said that the latest case seems to confirm that, but further research is needed. If there is community transmission, we will see sporadic cases emerging, he went on.
Increased traffic has been observed at checkpoints on Monday compared to yesterday, both to and from the occupied areas. More than 600 people have reportedly crossed until 11 am via the two Nicosia checkpoints, while crossings are ongoing. In particular, according to the police, by 11 am more than 480 people crossed from the occupied to the free areas through the Ledra Palace and Ayios Dhometios checkpoints in Nicosia, while another 120 people crossed from the areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus to the Turkish-held territories. In total, 280 vehicles crossed through the two checkpoints to the free areas and 60 vehicles crossed to the occupied areas.