COVID19: Cyprus getting to grips, boasts low death rate

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As Cyprus begins to get a grip on the spread of the coronavirus, the health services can boast that they have stabilised cases to less than two dozen a day, while keeping the death toll as low as possible.

Cyprus coronavirus mortality rate stands at 2.4% of all reported cases, with 17 patients that contracted COVID-19 having passed away (but only 12 of these deaths were directly caused by the virus).

This is significantly lower than Italy’s and the UK’s 12.8%, Greece’s death rate stands at 4.6% and Sweden’s at 8.4%.

Thirteen deaths (76.5%) occurred in men and four (23.5%) in women; the median age of all deaths was 76.

According to the Health Ministry’s updated records with data until April 14, 697 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID19) have been reported.

Cyprus health authorities can boast one of the highest testing rates as a total of 20,517 tests have been performed as of April 14 which corresponds to 2,342.3 for every 100,000 inhabitants, significantly higher than other countries around the globe.

Italy performs some 1,776.7 for every 100,000, while South Korea does 1021.5 tests.

Figures are expected to shoot up as the Health Ministry has issued a decree obliging every employee in the Food and Beverage chain of supply to get tested.

The state is offering some 20,000 free tests for frontline workers in this context.

The median age of cases is 47 years (interquartile range: 33-60 years).

By age groups, cases included 37 infants, children and adolescents aged 0-17 (5.4%), 474 adults aged 18-59 years (68.6%), and 180 persons aged 60 and older (26%).

The age of six notified cases has not been recorded at the moment.

Among all cases, 245 (35.2%) were reported in Nicosia district, 198 (28.4%) in Larnaca, 124 (17.8%) in Paphos, 75 (10.8%) in Limassol, and 38 (5.5%) in Famagusta.

Seventeen cases (2.4%) were reported either in British Bases or had a residence abroad, or information was not available.

Notably, 113 cases (16.2%) were reported in Aradippou, a municipality in the Larnaca district, which is one of the two hotspots of the virus in Cyprus, the other being Paphos.

In total, 21.5% of patients received hospital care, and 87 patients (58%) have been discharged from hospital.

When age was available, the median age of hospitalised patients was 63 (interquartile range: 51-74 years).

Hospitalised cases involve mainly males as they made up for 66.7% of cases.

Overall, 27 cases (18% of all hospitalised patients) have been admitted to ICU, of which 14 (9.3% of all hospitalized patients) were still in ICU (as of April 14).  The median age of patients admitted to ICU was 69 years.

Clinical features 

Regarding the clinical characteristics of the 697 patients, 26.2%  reported no symptoms at diagnosis and 73.8% reported at least one symptom.

The most commonly reported symptoms were:

 cough (261/625; 41.8%)

 fever (232/639; 36.3%)

 myalgia (171/636; 26.9%)

 sore throat (129/634; 20.3%)

 anosmia (92/470; 19.6%)

 shortness of breath (97/607; 16.0%)

Other reported symptoms were runny nose, diarrhoea, and headache.

The most commonly reported underlying health condition among cases was hypertension (18.3%),

diabetes (11.1%), heart disease and cancer (3.9%).