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As Lockdown Lifts More, Repatriated Cypriots Bring Spike in COVID-19 Cases

The return by the government of Cypriots stranded abroad by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has led to a jump in cases, reversing a downward trend as the country was beginning to lift lockdown restrictions to get the economy going again.

There were eight cases reported May 24, mostly from repatriated Cypriots, a day after there were none for the first time since the outbreak on March 9, reported the Financial Mirror.

The Ministry of Health said of the 365 samples taken from Cypriots returning on repatriation flights, seven cases of COVID-19 were found, while the eighth case resulted from the contact tracing and tests among 142 cases of confirmed coronavirus patients.

That brought the total of cases to 935 after a constant downslide in the numbers although it wasn’t said if the uptick was a brief anomaly or could bring worry about a surge if only for a brief period.

It came as the government of President Nicos Anastasiades announced further lifting of restrictions including allowing schools to open May 28 and ending a night time curfew that had been in place too.

Cafes and restaurants had just reopened but only for outside service and beaches opened as the government hoped tourists would return once international air traffic resumes but with hotels required to observe strict hygiene protocols.

365 were conducted on Cypriots returning on repatriation flights, 142 from contact tracing linked to known COVID-19 cases. 190 from tests on people working at barbers and hair salons, beauty salons and tattoo parlors, 704 tests from students, teachers and staff at schools, 200 working in retail shops and construction sites, 172 in the health sector and 81 initiated by other private sector workers.

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