SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 24 June 2021, Thursday |

Cyprus finds first cases of Indian COVID variant

NICOSIA, Cyprus: Cyprus has recorded its first cases of a COVID-19 variant first detected in India, its health ministry said Wednesday, adding they involved individuals who were swiftly isolated and quarantined after arriving on the island.

Authorities said the variant was found in four people who tested positive for COVID-19, while the South African variant was found in two individuals. They had arrived from India, Pakistan, Philippines and Nepal, countries from which people need special permission to travel to Cyprus, with testing before or upon arrival and a compulsory two-week quarantine.

The individuals were placed in compulsory quarantine and isolation and had no contact with other people, the ministry said, reporting on the results of specialised tests on cases ‘mostly’ recorded in April.

Cyprus has recorded 348 deaths from COVID-19, and 71,398 infections. COVID-19 cases spiked in March and April, triggering a third lockdown.

Numbers are now markedly lower following widespread testing and an inoculation programme to vaccinate 65 percent of the population by the end of June. – Reuters