German tourist tests positive for virus in northern Cyprus

By: AFP      Published: 02:13 PM, 10 Mar, 2020
German tourist tests positive for virus in northern Cyprus

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, recognised 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.

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