COVID19: Cyprus cases subside during lockdown

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Cyprus reported a lower number of new COVID-19 cases and fewer patients admitted to hospitals on Saturday but there was one more coronavirus death.

The Health Ministry said that 193 patients are at the four main hospitals, while the number of new SARS-CoV-2 cases was down from Friday’s 244 to 202.

This raised the number of infections since the pandemic to 28,811.

Daily cases have started to fall off since a national lockdown was introduced on January 10 and home visits were banned from Christmas.

But the positivity rate of cases found from samples taken was slightly higher on Saturday at 2.52% from Friday’s 2.19%.

Some 59 hospital patients remain in a critical condition.

With one new death, a 70-year-old man with underlying health issues, the total is 167, of which 44 died in January, catching up with December that recorded 76 deaths.

The average of those who have died from COVID-19 is 79 and 66% (111) were men.

Cyprus continued testing the general public with the PCR molecular method and the less-accurate antigen rapid test.

According to the ECDC, Cyprus is in second place among 29 European states with an average of 7,181 tests per 100,000 over 14 days, behind Denmark which is performing 9,277 tests per 100,000.

Saturday’s results were from 8,014 tests with 52 cases from tracing contacts of existing SARS-CoV-2 infections, three positive results from 258 samples taken from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, another 7 cases were from tests on UK arrivals.

These passengers are kept in quarantine in local hotels and need a negative test on the seventh day of their stay in order to be released and head home for a few more days of isolation.

A further 178 cases were identified through the national rapid test programme, of which 52 were in Limassol, 27 in Nicosia, 20 in Larnaca, 2 in Paphos and 2 in Famagusta district.

With the vaccination of 4,191 people, from January 11-15 the total number vaccinated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines has reached 10,226, the Health Ministry said.

Another 200 vaccinations are expected to be given to health professionals on Saturday.

However, Pfizer-BioNtech, the suppliers of the initial batch of vaccines, said that they would be slowing down deliveries throughout Europe until the end of the month, to allow for production line upgrades and increase the output of jabs