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COVID19: Tests up, Cyprus cases down, zero deaths

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Cyprus reported 113 new coronavirus cases on Saturday as it boosted free COVID-19 tests ahead of Lockdown II being lifted next week while there were no deaths for a second successive day.

COVID infections have remained steadily below 200 throughout the week, as the country prepares to relax lockdown from Monday.

Patients at state hospitals also dropped to 140 but 50 remain in a critical condition with 28 of them on a ventilator.

The Health Ministry said the infection rate identified from daily tests had receded to 0.5% from about 3% at its peak.

According to the latest Health Ministry Epidemiological Surveillance Unit report the 14-day cumulative notification rate on January 26 was 243.8, compared to 665.2 per 100,000 population on January 12.

For the second day running, the health ministry said there were no coronavirus-related deaths, with the month’s total at 74, just behind December’s 76.

Since March, 197 people have died from SARS-CoV-2, of whom 132 were men and 65 women. The average age of all deaths to date is 80 years.

The Health Ministry said that an above-average 22,674 tests were conducted on Saturday, nearly 4,000 more than Friday, as more people prepare to return to work next week.

By decree at least 20% at any workplace need to secure a negative test to be allowed back.

With the 113 new cases, the total infections since the pandemic stand at 30,770.

Some 32 of the positive new cases were diagnosed through contact tracing and 60 from the rapid tests.

Limassol continued to have most cases with 38, followed by 10 in Nicosia, 6 in Larnaca, 1 in Paphos and 5 in Famagusta district.

Limassol also had the highest positive rate from tests conducted at 0.73%, followed by Famagusta 0.5%, Larnaca 0.2%, Nicosia 0.11%, and Paphos 0.05%

Of the 409 samples from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, all were negative, continuing a trend throughout the week.

AstraZeneca

Cyprus will receive in February 69,403 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the manufacturer, the Ministry of Health said.

This comes after the EMA’s recommendation for conditional marketing authorisation for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The ministry said the dates of delivery have been set for February 7 and February 17 while a third batch will be delivered at the end of February.