COVID19: 5 deaths, record 419 cases on worst day in Cyprus

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Cyprus announced five deaths and a record 419 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, making it the deadliest day since the pandemic started and with December headed to be worst month to date.

The deteriorating situation may prompt the government to keep measures in place, probably even introducing stricter decrees when the cabinet meets on Wednesday to finalise recommendations from the epidemiological advisory team.

The present health and safety regulations in place were supposed to end on Sunday and will possibly be extended as of December 14 to include Christmas and New Year.

The daily new cases were three more than Monday’s previous high of 416 and 369 on Saturday, with health officials announcing 2,621 SARS-CoV-2 and 19 deaths in just the first eight days of the month.

The COVID-19 infections tally on Monday stood at 13,286 and 68 deaths. The worst month on record was November with 6,157 new coronavirus cases confirmed.

The five new deaths were three men and two women, while the health ministry said that 115 patients are being treated at state hospitals, of whom 21 are critical, one more than Monday.

Four of the five deaths involved elderly people with underlying health issues: a 76 year old man, who was being treated at the Nicosia General hospital; and 84 year old resident of the Climentio old people’s home in Nicosia who was being treated at Limassol General; a 92 year old woman, resident at the Peristerona community home where a major cluster has formed and was being treated at the Covid-referral clinic at Famagusta General; and, a 91 year old woman from the Panayia home near Limassol, also being treated at Famagusta General.

A 63 year old man with no underlying health issues died at Limassol General after being admitted there from the Kyperounta community health centre.

So far, 44 men and 24 women have died, with an average age of 77.

In all, 10,910 tests were carried out – 4,208 employing the molecular PCR method and 6,702 using the less-accurate antigen rapid tests, that will require confirmation over the next few days. Of the 419 positive COVID-19 cases, 212 were confirmations from rapid tests conducted on previous days.

From the rapid tests of the day, 218 returned as positive and will require PCR confirmations. On average, the vast majority have been confirmed with only 4-5% coming back as negative for COVID-19.

The biggest number of 74 new cases was once again traced in Nicosia, followed by 58 in Larnaca, 23 in Limassol, 16 in Famagusta and 9 in Paphos.

Meanwhile, the head of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Constantinos Tsioutis said Cyprus must return to the indicators recorded in September when it was the safest country in Europe with only 1,755 cases at the time.

Since then it has recorded the worst month on record for cases and deaths in November, while December threatens to surpass that milestone.