COVID19: 3 deaths, new cases over 100 again

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Cyprus reported three deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, with the number of patients unchanged from the day before, while new coronavirus cases rose to 113, having dropped below the psychological 100 for the first time in four months on Tuesday.

All three deaths were men, aged 61 to 86, with underlying health issues.

The health ministry said that the death toll since the pandemic started rose to 217, of which the first ten days of February has so far accounted for 18 deaths, with December and January the worst months on record, with 76 each.

So far, 148 (68%) have been men and 69 women, with an average age of 79 years.

The ministry said that the number of patients being treated for COVID-19 was 95, one less than on Tuesday, while the critical cases also rose by one from the day before.

The limited lockdown measures will remain in place until the end of March.

Following Cyprus’ success in bringing daily COVID-19 cases down to double-digit numbers after spiralling to 907 on December 29, experts expect to see infections dropping even further, but called for vigilance.

Dr Peter Karayiannis, Professor of Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School, said scientists were encouraged by Tuesday’s results as it was the first-time cases dropped to double digits in 4 months.

According to Financial Mirror data, 94 cases of SARS-CoV-2 were last reported on October 16.


Tests slow to 24,780

The total number of PCR and rapid tests dropped further on Wednesday to 24,780, after Lockdown II measures were eased from midnight Sunday. As a result, employers must ensure that at least 20% of their workforce has a negative rapid test result, including public sector workers and teachers who returned to school.

With nearly a quarter of the population tested throughout last week, test numbers skyrocketed to a record 40,974 on Sunday, dropping to 34,739 on Monday and 25,427 on Tuesday.

The tests diagnosed 113 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, raising the total infections since last March to 32,072, or about 3.5% of the entire population.

Contact tracing linked to previous infections identified 27 new cases, with one passenger from among 95 samples from arrivals at Larnaca and Paphos airports testing positive.

A further 62 new cases were diagnosed through private rapid tests and the free national testing programme.

Of the 22,915 public rapid tests, Limassol once again had the most infections at 40, followed by Nicosia (12), Larnaca (1) and Paphos (1).

Furthermore, only one test from among 819 of residents and staff at old people’s homes was positive for COVID, as was one soldier from 1,373 tests on members of the National Guard.

Some 341 tests at the Dhali industrial zone all tested negative.