Cyprus' Health Ministry on Friday reported a sudden surge in infections caused by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of coronavirus following the identification of the first five cases at the beginning of this month.

Iran PressAsia: According to Cyprus' Health Ministry, 28 new Omicron infections have been detected, 20 of which could be traced back to people who have been under scrutiny since Dec. 10 as "possible Omicron cases."

The other eight Omicron cases were related to travel.

The five original cases were also related to travel and were identified after a group of high school pupils and teachers returned from an educational visit to Glasgow, Scotland, on Dec. 1.

The surge in new Omicron cases raised the alarm at the Health Ministry, as COVID-19 hospitals are already running close to capacity.

Cyprus currently registers around 700 coronavirus cases per day. To date, the prevailing variant has been the Delta mutation.

Scientists say that the pandemic is expected to be driven by the Omicron mutation soon, and that the latest wave is likely to peak in January.

The authorities have tightened the health restrictions in recent days. Most of the new infections are tied to travel and the majority of those infected are unvaccinated people. 


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