COVID19: Over half of virus deaths occurred in December

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With two days to go, December is officially Cyprus’ deadliest month since the pandemic started in March with the death toll from COVID-19 at 68 from a total of 117 since the outbreak.

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

According to the latest national surveillance report on coronavirus, released on Wednesday, a total of 144 patients who contracted COVID-19 died with 76 occurring in December.

“December saw the highest number of deaths of people positive for COVID-19, since the beginning of the pandemic with the percentage reaching 53% of the total number of deaths (76).

“The number of deaths in December is 117% higher than the number of deaths for the entire month of November (35, 24%),” said the report.

Some 36 deaths recorded in December involved residents at care homes with 28 of them dying in a hospital.

And 65% were men (76 deaths) and 35% were women (41 deaths). Of the 144 deaths, 117 (81%) had COVID-19 as their underlying cause.

As of 28 December, the mortality rate (all-causes) for people with COVID-19 is 16.2 per 100,000 population, up from 12.4.

Deaths occurred in 95 men (66%) and 49 (34%) women; the median age of all deaths was 82 years (IQR: 73-87years).

The COVID-19 associated mortality is 13.2per 100,000 population.

A total of 4,061 cases were reported in the fortnight covered with the island’s 14-day cumulative diagnosis rate being 457.3per 100,000 population, down from 498.3 per 100,000 population.

The diagnosis rate is lower than in the previous report, as it is understood that a lower number of tests conducted over Christmas resulted in less cases being reported.

On Christmas Day, Cyprus reported just 25 cases and on Boxing day 50.

On Tuesday, the island reported a record 907 new cases which are not included in the report.

Larnaca is hit hardest with its 14-day cumulative rate at 709.4, followed by Nicosia with a rate of 525.1. Famagusta at 425.4, Limassol with 267.8 and Paphos at 226.4.

From a total of 4,061 cases diagnosed between 14 and 27 December, 2,373 were reported in the Nicosia district, followed by Larnaca with 1,050.

The median age was 39 years (24-55years); 52.7% were female (2,142), 47% male (1,909), and for 10 cases (0.3%) sex has not been recorded.

Most cases were locally transmitted as just 1.3% (52) involved people who arrived on the island from abroad.

By age group, cases included 752 infants, children and adolescents aged 0-19 (18.5%), 2,529 adults aged 20-59 (62.3%), 774 persons aged 60 years and older (19.1%), and for 6 cases (0.2%) the age is unknown.

A total of 743,693 molecular tests have been performed up to December 27 (82,231 per 100,000 population).

Over the last 14 days, 65,099 molecular tests were performed (7,331 per 100,000 population).

The weekly report on the virus is prepared by the Health Ministry’s epidemiological surveillance unit.