COVID19: Cyprus has 2 more deaths, as testing fever continues

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Two men, both in their 70s, died from COVID-19 on Friday, raising the death toll since the pandemic started to 43, with the health ministry announcing 274 more new cases of SARS-CoV-2.

The health ministry said a man aged 74, with underlying issues, had been at the Ekali rehabilitation centre in Limassol from where he was taken to the Covid-referral clinic of the Famagusta General hospital, where he died.

The other fatality, a 70 year old man also with underlying issues, was being treated at Nicosia General, where he died.

So far, 27 men and 16 women have died from COVID-19, with an average age of 75.

The ministry said that a total of 12,077 tests were conducted on Friday, of which 5,022 were with the more accurate PCR method, producing 274 positive cases, while a further 7,055 antigen rapid tests found 114 positive results that will need to be confirmed by PCR.

On Thursday, a record 12,363 tests were conducted on a single day, half of which were the free antigen rapid tests held throughout the country that got underway at the start of the week. The positive cases were 268.

Friday’s positive cases included 21 infections identified through the targeted testing of 132 inmates and staff at homes for the elderly, of whom 15 are at the Panayia care home in Limassol and six at the EOKA Melathron rehab centre.

A further 51 cases were positive results from the rapid tests of previous days that needed to be confirmed by the PCR method.

This raises the total of all infections to date to 8,253.

Once again, the 255 tests on incoming passengers at Larnaca and Paphos airports were negative.

The rapid tests identified two infections in Paphos, 19 in Limassol, 41 in Larnaca and 52 in Nicosia.

Th health ministry said that 89 patients are being treated at Famagusta General and other state hospitals, eight more than Thursday.

Earlie on Friday, it was reported that the lockdown measures imposed on Limassol and Paphos seem to be producing results, but there is a new surge in the capital Nicosia.

Cyprus’ epidemiological data has deteriorated to a 14-day cumulative rate of 270.1 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, up from 247.5 (November 8), and 207.9 (October 24) the week before that.

Paphos’ rate on 16 November had dropped to 169 from 226.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, as did Limassol’s to 502.2 from 516.9.

The ‘safe’ benchmark according to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) is 150 per 100,000.