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The Latest: Cyprus to cover costs for infected tourists

SeattlePI.com Wednesday, 27 May 2020
The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— Virus expands grip in many areas, as US nears 100,000 deaths.

— Cyprus pledges to cover costs for visiting tourists who test positive.

— India surpasses 150,000 coronavirus cases with another one-day high.

— Las Vegas casinos to reopen June 4.

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NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus is pledging to cover costs for anyone testing positive for the coronavirus while vacationing in the east Mediterranean island nation.

The Cypriot government says it will cover lodging, food, drink and medication for COVID-19 patients and their families. Patients will only have to pay for the taxi ride to the airport and the flight back home.

A 100-bed hospital will cater exclusively to foreign travelers who test positive. Some 112 intensive care units equipped with 200 respirators will be reserved for critically ill patients.

A 500-room “quarantine-hotel” will host exclusively patients’ family members and other close contacts.

The pledge came in a five-page letter sent to governments, airlines and tour operators outlining strict health and hygiene protocols that Cyprus is enacting to woo visitors to the tourism-reliant country.

Tourism directly accounts for 13% of Cyprus’ economy. The country expects to lose as much as 70% of 2.6 billion euros in tourism-generated revenue this year.

The letter, signed by Cyprus’ foreign affairs, transport and tourism ministers, boasts that the country has one of the lowest coronavirus ratios per capita in Europe after having tested more than 10% of its...
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