Three ministers of Cyprus gov't in COVID-19 isolation

NICOSIA, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Three ministers of the government of Cyprus have been placed in COVID-19 isolation after coming into contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, an official statement said on Tuesday.

The close contact was related to a man working at a municipality close to the southern city of Limassol, where the coronavirus pandemic is running rampant.

The statement said that Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos, Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides and Deputy Minister for Shipping Vasilis Demetriades took part in a municipality meeting on Friday.

A man sitting next to Karousos later tested positive for COVID-19.

The statement said that Karousos was negative in a first test but will nevertheless stay in isolation for the mandatory quarantine period of 14 days.

The two other ministers are still waiting for their test results.

Cyprus is currently faced with a second coronavirus wave, with the number of new daily cases approaching 300 last week in a population of just 1.2 million. This week, new cases dropped to around 100, about double the highest number of infections recorded during the first phase between mid-March and mid-June.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, countries including France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.

According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Oct. 19, there were 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 44 of them were in clinical trials.

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