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    Coronavirus: Six confirmed cases in South Cyprus, containment measures stepped up

    Schools close tomorrow in the South and police have started checking compliance at restaurants and other indoor venues as new measures come into force to contain the spread of coronavirus in Cyprus.

    South Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou has indicated that more measures are under consideration.

    A four year old child and a passenger who flew to South Cyprus from Gatwick last night are under examination as suspect coronavirus cases after running a high fever.

    Here are some of the main developments 

    • There are six confirmed cases.  Three have been hospitalised at Famagusta General Hospital which has been designated the referral hospital for confirmed cases. This is intended to clear up space at Nicosia and Limassol Hospital for cases which are under investigation.
    • Health officials said they are tracing the people they may have contacted. One of the three hospitalised patients is understood to be a Paphos taxi driver who did not travel abroad and had not come into contact with a confirmed case.
    • Authorities at Larnaca Airport were placed on alert last night after they were notified that a passenger aboard a plane from Gatwick was exhibiting high temperature. The man, a 28 year old Greek Cypriot, was taken by ambulance to Nicosia General Hospital and the remaining 147 passengers and five crew were taken to the old terminal building for checks. Some objected to being screened and giving their details and police were called in to help health officials. After checks, all were instructed to self-isolate. If the 28 year old tests positive, they will be tested.
    • New rules that came into force yesterday has set a 75 people ceiling at indoor cafes, restaurants and other venues. Police last night in Limassol carried out checks at a number of establishments. One indoor venue at Zakaki was found to have more than 75 people and they were asked to lave.
    • Schools in Nicosia have been closed since Wednesday and schools at all levels, private and public, across the island will close for a week tomorrow. Officials said this was a precaution to contain the spread of coronavirus.   There have been no reported cases at any academic institutions so far.
    • The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics has been carrying out dozens of tests. About 250 tests were carried out yesterday of which four tested positive.
    • A four year old child is being examined at Makarios Hospital. The child has come into contact with a confirmed case and yesterday developed a fever and was taken to the children’s hospital last night. The child is said to be in a good condition, but has been placed in isolation pending the results of the tests.
    • The government is preparing support measures for companies and workers to address the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said on Wednesday. Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou is discussing support for parents who need to stay home because of the closure of schools, among other issues.
    • President Nicos Anastasiades has called an urgent meeting of the ministerial committee set up to address the coronavirus situation at the Presidential Palace to discuss the situation with the coronavirus.
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