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German tourist tests positive for virus in northern Cyprus

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Nicosia, Cyprus   /   Tue, March 10, 2020   /   03:12 pm
German tourist tests positive for virus in northern Cyprus This handout illustration image obtained Feb. 3, 2020, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. - Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. (AFP/Lizabeth Menzies / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention )

A 65-year-old German tourist has tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, the first known case in northern Cyprus, authorities said on Tuesday.

The Mediterranean island is divided between areas under the de facto control of EU member state the Republic of Cyprus and the northern third controlled by the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Ankara.

Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli told media that the German woman was among a 30-member tourist group who arrived in northern Cyprus from Balingen in Germany on Sunday.

The woman was taken to a hospital in Nicosia after complaining of high fever, was put under quarantine and tested positive on Tuesday morning, the minister said. 

The hotel where the German group was staying in the coastal city of Famagusta was also on lockdown, he added.

On Monday the Republic of Cyprus reported its first two confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, meaning that all 27 European Union member states have now reported infections.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said the two cases were both Cypriot men who had recently travelled home from overseas, and had been among dozens of people tested.

Greek Cypriot authorities on 29 February closed four of the eight checkpoints on the line dividing the island "for more effective control over the entry points", sparking angry protests.