COVID19: 2 more deaths as Cyprus heads for worst month

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Cyprus reported two more coronavirus deaths on Sunday raising the toll for December to 12 and 61 since the start of the pandemic, with the number of new SARS-CoV-2 dropping to 270 from Saturday’s record 369.

December is gradually becoming the worst month in COVID-19 history in Cyprus, as health officials have been warning about complacency over the prospect of vaccines and expressing concern all week that the number of patients being treated at state hospitals is at a worrying high, peaking at 121 on Sunday of whom 18 are critical.

Cyprus is finalising its vaccination programme against COVID-19, as authorities expect to see the first batch of vaccines arriving just after Christmas, with the rollout to take place early January.

More scientists are drafted to help health authorities design their large-scale plan, address logistic problems, prioritise groups according to their vulnerability while also informing the public on vaccines available.

The two deaths were a 72 year old man with underlying health issues who was being treated at Nicosia General hospital and an 86 year old woman, also with underlying health issues, who was a resident of the Peristerona old people’s home that has recorded a number of deaths and was being treated at Famagusta General.

To date, 39 men have died and 22 women for an average age of 76 years, unchanged from the past few days.

In all, 7,918 tests were conducted on Sunday, of which 2,090 were the molecular PCR method diagnosing 201 cases of COVID-19 and 69 confirmed cases from 75 earlier diagnosed antigen rapid tests on previous days.

This brings the total number of infections since the pandemic started to 12,451, breaking past the 12,000 mark on Saturday.

A further 5,828 rapid tests on Sunday, half the number of such tests on weekdays, diagnosed a high of 202 cases of COVID-19 that will require confirmation by the more accurate PCR method over the next few days.

Once again, Limassol and Paphos, the epicentres of the biggest clusters in November that sent both towns into partial lockdown in the second half of the month, diagnosed the lowest number of new cases at 12 and 5 respectively.

Nicosia infections are rising at a worrying pace, at 102 accounting for half the positive cases identified through rapid testing on the day, followed by 70 in Larnaca and 13 in Famagusta district.

The health ministry said that of the 18 patients in critical state, ten remain intubated.

Just over half the 121 patients, 67 are being treated at the Covid-referral clinic of Famagusta General hospital.