COVID19: Three dead, new cases and admissions stable

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Cyprus reported three deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, as well as a flat line of 241 new coronavirus cases and 202 patients currently admitted in hospitals, with scientists saying the spread of the virus is not yet under control.

Lead scientist advising the government on the coronavirus outbreak, Dr Constantinos Tsioutis, said that numbers of new daily cases are dropping, evidence that measures taken in December have paid off.

Las month, authorities had banned house visits while closing shopping malls and hospitality, followed by a stricter national lockdown on January 10.

“However, we do expect to see hospital admissions rise as a result of high numbers of infections being reported in the past days,” said Tsioutis.

He said the elderly still have the highest risk of developing serious symptoms of the disease, despite Cyprus unrolling its vaccination programme.

The three deaths were all males, aged 75 to 79, raising the death toll to 166, with 43 of those in January alone, catching up with December that recorded 76 deaths.

In all, 202 patients are currently admitted in the Covid-referral clinic at Famagusta General and three other hospitals, of whom 59 are critical, unchanged from the day before.

On Wednesday, the number of admitted patients was lower at 198, and down from the record 209 on Saturday.

The health ministry added that 10,328 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, employing the PCR molecular method and the less-accurate antigen rapid tests.

From these, 241 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 were diagnosed, up from 227 the day before.

This raised the total since March to 28,365 infections.

The numbers continued to decline for the 16th consecutive day from the record 907 on December 29.

The positive cases included 75 through tracing contacts of known infections, and 107 from the national programme of free antigen rapid tests. Of these, 48 were identified in Limassol, 30 in Larnaca, 21 in Nicosia, two in Paphos and none in Famagusta district.

Three elderly residents o old people’s homes in Larnaca tested positive, as did a soldier serving in the National Guard.

Five new SARS-CoV-2 cases were diagnosed from 168 passengers tested upon arrival at Larnaca and Paphos airports.

Meanwhile, 64 people who had arrived from the U.K. and were in quarantine in state-sponsored hotels tested negative on the seventh day and were allowed to leave, going on to home isolation for a few more days.


New inoculation centre in Lakatamia

The health ministry also said that a further 420 inoculation appointments would be made available on Friday from 6am.

These are reserved for elderly people over 80 years and for vaccinations at the Lakatamia inoculation centre that will commence from January 19. The jabs will be administered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The inoculation information call centre is available on 1474, while appointments can also be booked by family GPs.