Cyprus saw a marked drop in daily COVID-19 cases on Saturday after a record 424 infections the day before, but the death toll rose to 77 with two more people dying in hospital.
December is headed to becoming the worst month on record since the outbreak in March with deaths in the first 12 days already at 32 – making it around a third of the total.
There were only 32 COVID-19 deaths registered from March to the end of October.
With Saturday’s 324 cases, Cyprus has so far recorded 14,800 cases, the bulk in the second wave.
Cyprus is under tighter national measures with all shopping malls, restaurants, bars, cafés, cinemas and theatres having to shut.
Church services are held without the public in attendance.
The two patients that died had underlying health issues. One was an 82-year-old man who died at Nicosia General hospital, the other was also man aged 88, being treated at the Covid-referral clinic at Famagusta General.
To date, 51 men (66%) have died and 26 women (36%), with an average age of 78.
Twelve positive cases were diagnosed at a care home in Evrychou, Nicosia.
The new cases of SARS-CoV-2 included 143 confirmations of positive results diagnosed by the less-accurate antigen rapid tests.
However, the number of patients being treated at state hospitals reached 113, three more than the previous day, but the number of critical patients is 16, 10 are on a ventilator. Of these, 61 are at the Covid-clinic at Famagusta General.
Some 11,917 tests were conducted on Saturday, of which 4,607 employed the more exact molecular PCR method and 7,310 rapid tests, that generate results in less than 30 minutes.
And 202 new positive cases were diagnosed that require PCR confirmation over the next few days.
These were traced in Limassol (26), Larnaca, (47), Nicosia (84), Paphos (10) and Famagusta (21).
Most cases found from routine PCR tests were 84 from private initiative and 62 from the track and trace process.