Fri, 23 Oct 2020

NICOSIA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Cyprus First Division football league has been thrown into disarray after the country's Ministry of Health announced on Saturday that almost the entire squad of one First Division club tested positive for COVID-19.

A statement said that 10 players of Nea Salamis, based in the southeastern city of Larnaca, had been found to be infected with COVID-19.

On Friday, a player who arrived from Angola through Portugal and Austria tested positive, prompting the club to test all its players and staff, totaling 59 people.

The club immediately activated a Health Ministry Protocol imposing a quarantine on the whole team after a positive test of one of its players and canceling the team's next match on Monday.

However, as the entire team will be quarantined for at least two weeks, other Nea Salamis matches will also be canceled, possibly forcing a rescheduling of matches involving other teams.

Health authorities are also testing players and officials of a second division team against whom Nea Salamis played a cup match on Friday.

Cyprus has witnessed a spike in new COVID-19 cases in the last week, with postive cases jumping to double digits.

The Health Ministry announced 15 new cases on Saturday, which mostly came from the process of tracing contacts of infected people. It added that total COVID-19 cases stood at 1,580.

Specialists advising the Health Ministry have expressed deep concern that the majority of new cases in the past few days came through tracing of contacts of known COVID-19 cases.

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