articles | 18 March 2020

Coronavirus: Thirteen new cases, mostly from Paphos

Thirteen new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Monday, the biggest daily spike in new cases.

These concern 10 health professionals working at the Paphos general hospital and a patient who had come in contact with an inpatient being treated there.

The other cases are two persons who recently arrived, one from the UK, the other from Greece and had presented symptoms.

This brings the total number to 46, 25 of which were contacts of other confirmed cases.

The health ministry said its epidemiology unit has already started tracing the contacts of the 13 persons for tests.

It said it will also reassess the Paphos general hospital which was shut for 48 hours on Saturday after a 70-year-old patient tested positive to Covid-19.

The 10 health professionals and the inpatient who tested positive on Monday had come into contact with the 70-year-old man being threated there who himself tested positive after being visited by relatives arriving from the UK.

Since then all visits to patients in state hospitals have been banned.

Two patients hospitalised with the coronavirus last week were discharged on Monday and moved to state-designated venues where they will remain in isolation for 14 days.

Okypy announced on Monday that the Paphos hospital remains closed while it is being disinfected but the dialysis unit and accident and emergency department are still operating. Patients in the general clinic and the intensive care unit have been put in isolation. Urgent cases in need of admission will be referred to the private sector.

Okypy also announced that all units at the Nicosia general hospital are now operating as normal except the cardiology department which only continues to treat its existing inpatients. New cardiology cases will be referred to the private sector.

As regards scheduled appointments, admissions and surgeries in state hospitals, patients will be informed by the competent clinics of the hospitals, Okypy said.

Prescriptions and referrals by specialist doctors for beneficiaries who have a scheduled appointment will be made electronically. Beneficiaries will be informed through the phone.

The special pharmacy counters at the hospitals will operate only for chronic patients.

On Monday, cafes, bars, cinemas, casinos, sports venues, barbershops and hairdresser salons and all food and beverage businesses excluding those that only do delivery and take away closed for four weeks as part of the new measures.

As of Tuesday, civil servants will work from home wherever possible while non-vital services will operate with skeleton staff. Toward that end, state services urged members of the public to avoid going to their offices unless absolutely necessary while they need to make appointments before they do so. Some urged the public to use the state online services where possible.

Source: Cyprus Mail


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