COVID19: Cyprus catches up with test backlog, cases peak at 318

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Cyprus reported a new high of 318 cases of SARS-CoV-2 on Tuesday, almost half of which were a backlog of confirmations from rapid tests conducted on earlier days.

The Health Ministry said that of the 10,962 tests, some 3,233 employed the molecular PCR method producing 186 new coronavirus, while 132 were confirmations of the antigen rapid tests of the previous days.

To date, Cyprus has had 10,883 coronavirus cases since the pandemic started.

At the same time, Cyprus said it will receive its first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of the year, with vaccinations beginning soon after, government scientists said earlier on Tuesday.

They said vaccine distribution could start this month if everything goes according to schedule and pharmaceutical companies receive their approvals.

Moderna and Pfizer/ BioNTech have applied for approval with the European Medicine Agency and have pledged to start supplying countries with their vaccine in December.

On Tuesday, a further 7,729 new rapid tests were conducted detecting a further 153 positive cases of COVID-19, which will now require confirmation through the more accurate PCR system.

Of the new cases, 14 were confirmations of a cluster at the Panayia old people’s home in Limassol, where positive rapid tests resulted during the past few days.

The health ministry said that 78 were detected through contact tracing and 67 were referred by GPs, while 11 positive infections were found among testing of 366 passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports.

Of the rapid tests, 11 were identified in Limassol district, 38 in Larnaca, 73 in Nicosia and none in Famagusta, while 7 positive infections were detected among solders serving in the National guard and within the police force.

However, the number of patients admitted or being treated in state hospitals continues to rise, reaching a total of 131, of whom 70 are at the Covid-referral clinic of Famagusta General hospital.