COVID19: 2 more deaths in Cyprus, new cases edge up

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An elderly man and a middle-aged woman died of COVID-19 on Friday, with 11 deaths in Cyprus so far this week as the number of new coronavirus cases started to rise again.

The 88-year-old man and the 54-year-old woman had underlying health issues. They died at Nicosia General hospital.

The two deaths raised the national death toll since the pandemic started to 210, while the number of patients rose marginally to 113, from 112 the day before and 126 on Wednesday.

The number of critical patients also rose from 31 to 34, less than the 39 on Wednesday.

The health ministry said that 30,333 tests were conducted on Friday, the second highest number this week after a national programme was launched to screen people gradually returning to work after lockdown measures were eased on Monday.

The tests diagnosed 133 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, raising the total to date to 31,512. This was up from the 116 on Thursday and just below Wednesday’s 139.

Some 32 were traced through contacts of previous infections and 68 were identified from 28,461 antigen rapid tests. Of these, Limassol continued to take the lion’s share of new cases with 42, followed by 9 in Nicosia, 8 in Larnaca, 4 in Paphos and 3 in Famagusta district.

All of the 260 samples taken from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports tested negative.

Of the 557 tests in old people’s homes, only two tested positive for coronavirus.


Risks remain

Despite Cyprus succeeding in bringing a resurgence of COVID-19 under control, there is still transmission in the community while the health system is under pressure.

The spread of coronavirus in Cyprus seems to have been contained, the Health Ministry said earlier on Friday, with the weekly positive test rate below 1%, but the notification rate is still above safety levels.

According to the Ministry’s latest report, Cyprus’ notification rate for the past two weeks is now at 183 per 100,000 inhabitants, down from 243.8.

The rate is above the safety limit of 150 per 100,000 set by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).