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COVID19: Four die as Cyprus cases ease up

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Although daily coronavirus cases are hitting a plateau at under 200, the situation in the hospitals remains critical with four people dying on Saturday.

The Health Ministry said two men and two women, aged between 78 to 87, with underlying health issues, succumbed in hospitals to COVID-19.

This raises the death toll for January to 60 and the total to date to 183 with an average age of 80.

One in 10 patients who contracted COVID-19 died in the second week of January with the month looking as grim as December which was the deadliest month on record since the coronavirus outbreak with 76.

The number of patients being treated in local hospitals is still relatively high at 174 with 59 in a serious condition and 29 of them on a ventilator.

COVID-19 cases soared to a record 907 on December 29 which triggered a three-week lockdown on January 10.

The Cabinet will meet next week to decide of what restrictions, if any, will be lifted at the end of the month.

The Health Ministry added that 8,155 tests were conducted on Saturday diagnosing 129 new cases of SARS-CoV-2.

This raised the total of all infections since the pandemic in March to 29,887 or just over 3% of the entire population.

In all, 2,073 PCR molecular tests were conducted and 6,118 antigen rapid tests with a positive rate of 1.58%.

Of the new cases, 36 were traced to contacts of previous infections, and 55 were positive from the rapid tests.

There were two cases from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports.

Of the free national rapid test programme, 18 were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 in Limassol (1,258 tests), 21 in Nicosia (2,622), 1 in Paphos (345), 6 in Larnaca (960) and 8 in the Famagusta district (264).

The highest rate of positive cases per rapid tests carried out was in Famagusta with 3.03% followed by Limassol on 1.43%

Cyprus has one of the highest COVID-19 testing rates in Europe according to its population, as it has conducted nearly 1.3 million coronavirus tests since March.