articles | 07 April 2020

Coronavirus: Nineteen more cases, one of them an infant

Nineteen more people have tested positive for coronavirus the health ministry said on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 465.

One of the new cases is a three-month-old baby at the Makarios hospital in Nicosia.

No deaths were reported.

The infant tested positive after tests were given to all children and staff currently at the hospital’s intensive care units for newborns and children. The tests were made after a nurse working at the neonatal ICU recently tested positive to coronavirus.

The three-month-old was placed in a negative pressure room. Its condition has not deteriorated due to the virus, state services Okypy said. It also said all areas believed to have been contaminated have been disinfected.

Nine of the new 19 cases concern contacts of other people while the rest are being investigated.

Seven were detected in two private hospitals, one in Nicosia and one in Larnaca.

Two concern people from Aradippou and one from Paphos, both identified as hotspots for the virus.

Eleven people are on ventilators; two at the Limassol general hospital and nine at the Nicosia hospital’s ICU. Their condition is stable but critical.

The 465 positive cases have been detected after 11,664 tests. Of the 465 cases, 332 concern contacts. In total 45 people who had been admitted to hospital have been discharged.

“Today’s results maintain yesterday’s encouraging assessment that the restrictive measures we have in place are effective,” virologist Dr Leontios Kostrikkis said.

He added that the number of new cases were in line with the decreasing trend of the previous days.

Kostrikkis reiterated his plea for everyone to continue following the measures because this is a very critical phase.

“We have no room for error. It would be a shame to destroy what we have built with so much effort.”

Kostrikkis also said that the low number of cases found lately in Aradippou “allows for optimism”.

He said that when the testing in Paphos is also completed, there will be a clearer picture.

Targeted testing has been arranged for the district of Paphos but also Aradippou in Larnaca because of the high number of cases.

As regards Aradippou, in total 525 samples were taken. So far, six people have tested positive from 508 samples checked.

In Paphos, 704 residents were tested for coronavirus so far.

Ninety-six samples taken in Paphos have been tested, of which one was found to be positive.

Tests in Paphos are expected to be completed on Tuesday. The goal is to collect around 1,000 samples from residents of all ages and nationalities chosen by the ministry of health using specific criteria.

Dr Marios Loizou, clinical director of Okypy, stressed that, although some medicines can be used to ease symptoms, there is still no treatment for Covid-19.

“Therefore, prevention remains our main defence line,” he said.

He added that in Cyprus, the treatment protocol followed is based on the experience gained from the case of China but also of the increasing examples in Europe and the US.

He said that drugs such as the antiviral Favipiravir (Avigan) are being studied in clinical trials and their administration requires the patient’s inclusion in each clinical study.

The most widely used drugs at this time are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, he said, adding that guidelines may change depending on the results of ongoing clinical trials, basic research studies, and the enrichment of international literature as the pandemic progresses.

Source: Cyprus Mail


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