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COVID19: December deadliest month of pandemic

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With two weeks to spare, December is already Cyprus’ deadliest month since the pandemic started in March with the death toll from COVID-19 at 36.

According to the latest national surveillance report on coronavirus, released on Friday, 36 people of the 85 COVID-19 deaths, died in the first 16 days of December.

Another six patients who had contracted coronavirus also died in the same period, but their cause of death was attributed to other underlying health conditions.

“The number of deaths in December is 20% higher than the number of deaths for the whole month of November,” the report said.

The week between November 30 and December 6 saw the highest number of patients die at 19 deaths recorded, amounting to 17% of all deaths linked with coronavirus.

By December 16, 110 deaths were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Some 65% were men (72 deaths) and the remaining 35% were women (38 deaths). Of the 110 deaths, 85 (77%) had COVID-19 as their underlying cause.

In total 32 of the 36 deaths for which Covid-19 was the underlying cause, lived in either Nicosia or Limassol (17 and 15 deaths respectively).

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Limassol is the district hit hardest with 36 deaths attributed to the disease, followed by Nicosia (24), Larnaca (12), Paphos (9) and Famagusta (4).

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, virologist Peter Karayiannis, member of the government’s COVID team, expressed fears about a further increase in COVID-19 cases.

Thursday saw a record number of 457 cases, confirming experts fears that the situation may get worse, as there was also a high number of rapid tests delivering a positive result (250).

Karayiannis said the committee will be waiting to see the results of next week before making any suggestions to the government on whether measures should be tightened.

On December 16, there were 10 patients still in ICU.

The median age of current ICU patients is 69 (IQR:  62-80) and 5 (50%) are men.

Seven (70%) patients currently in ICU have pre-existing conditions.

The number of cases currently in ICU is 1.1per 100,000 population.