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COVID19: Cyprus second in Europe for testing

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Cyprus ranks second highest among 29 European countries for the number of tests conducted for COVID-19 per 100,000 of population, said the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

According to a ‘COVID-19 situation update for week 1 of 2021’ issued by the ECDC, Cyprus is in second place with an average of 7,181 tests per 100,000 over 14 days, behind Denmark which is performing 9,277 tests per 100,000.

Luxembourg is in third place with 6,373. For context, France carried out 2,630 tests per 100,000 and Germany 1274.

Last on the list of the 29 member countries of the ECDC was Romania with just 452 tests.

“Cyprus, following the guidelines of the ECDC, has from the beginning designed its strategy for handling the coronavirus pandemic with a high number of laboratory tests targeted both at specific population groups and the wider community,” said a Health Ministry announced on Friday.

Targeted tests for the workplace, closed facilities and elsewhere, via PCR and rapid tests aim at continuously testing the population to have better epidemiological surveillance to detect positive cases and isolate them.

Cyprus’ testing program was boosted in late October with rapid antigen tests with the Health Ministry announcing that as of December 28 that people testing positive via rapid tests will not need confirmation via a PCR test.

Rapid antigen tests comprise about two-thirds of more than 12,000 coronavirus tests carried out daily.

The ministry said that the decision was based on the high confirmation rate by PCR test of the positive rapid tests, reaching about 97 to 98%.

According to the same ECDC report, when it comes to the COVID death rate, Cyprus was seventh, just below Sweden, far higher than countries such as Finland and Norway but well below Italy and Germany.

Cyprus has a “14-day death notification rate per 1,000,000 inhabitants for the reporting period” of 41.10 as of the first week of January.

Iceland’s was 2.8, Norway’s was 9.20, Finland’s 9.24, Sweden’s 41.74, Italy’s 113.16, Germany’s 127.20, Hungary’s 160.04 and Slovenia 270.55.

Liechtenstein was last on the list with a 14-day death notification rate per 1,000,000 inhabitants of 573.25.