COVID19: Cyprus has 3 deaths with 83,000 rapid tests in 14 days

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A middle-aged man and two elderly people died of COVID-19 in Cyprus, the health ministry announced on Wednesday, with 292 new cases raising the total of coronavirus infections since the pandemic started to 11,175.

The three brought the death toll to 52, of whom 35 were men and 17 women, with an average age of 75 years.

The first case was a woman, 83, with underlying health issues, who was being treated at Limassol General hospital.

An elderly man, aged 84, died at the Covid-referral clinic of the Famagusta General hospital, where he was taken from the EOKA veterans’ hospital near Limassol.

However, authorities were concerned with the third case, a 62 year old man with underlying health issues, who died at the intensive care ward of Nicosia General.

The health ministry said that a total of 9,984 tests were conducted on Wednesday, of which 2,924 employed the molecular PCR testing method identifying 193 cases of SARS-CoV-2.

Of the 317 tests on passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, all were negative., with hoteliers are placing their money on a new three-tier safe travel list, which the government is working on for the next tourist season, granting conditional entry to all travellers.

A further 99 cases were confirmations from positive results in previous days traced through the less-accurate antigen rapid test programme, part of the national programme of 400,000 free tests introduced in mid-November. Four tests came back negative for COVID-19.

The health ministry said that of the 6,060 rapid tests conducted on Wednesday, with results reported within 30 minutes, 108 were positive and will require PCR confirmation.

Of these, 9 were in Limassol District, 33 in Larnaca, 56 in Nicosia, 5 in Paphos, and two soldiers serving in the National Guard.

With state hospitals at near capacity, 124 patients were being treated for COVID-19, of whom nearly half, or 64 at the Covid-referral clinic of Famagusta General.

The health ministry said in the two-week period from November 15 to December 1, some 83,000 antigen rapid tests were conducted in all towns, diagnosing 1,361 infections or 1.72% of the total.

Of these, 13,708 were targeted testing in old peoples’ homes and rehabilitation centres, the National Guard and front-line health professionals.

The biggest number of tests were in Nicosia District, totaling 31,385 and 566 positive results, 13,944 in Limassol (258 cases), 13,539 in Larnaca (335), 5,640 in Paphos (64) and 4,879 in Famagusta (138).

Meanwhile, the junior ministry for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy has launched a new national hotline, 1474, to provide support and information on issues related to Covid-19.