COVID19: New cases at week-high, more health workers to get jab

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Vaccination at Famagusta General Hospital Covid-reference clinic

New coronavirus cases rose slightly to a week high of 123 on Sunday, up from 102 the day before, while Cyprus reported one more death and a stable number of 87 patients receiving treatment for COVID-19.

At the same time, the health ministry said more categories would start receiving vaccinations until the end of February, as the age group for all inoculations has been reduced to 76 year olds.

The new cases raised the national total since the pandemic started to 32,513 positive infections.

The latest death was an 87 year old man, with underlying health issues. He died at the Covid-referral clinic at Famagusta General hospital.

To date, 221 people have died – 149 men and 72 women – with an average age of 79 years.

February has so far accounted for 22 deaths, far from December and January which were the worst months on record, with 76 each.

The number of hospital patients being treated for coronavirus was up again at 87, from 84 on Saturday and 86 on Friday. Of these, 28 are critical, one less than the day before.

In all, 35,241 molecular PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Sunday, as workers need to secure a negative result to be allowed back, based on the government’s minimum requirement of 20% of any workforce to have been tested each week.

Some 47 new SARS-CoV-2 cases were diagnosed through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, while 68 were identified through the free national rapid testing programme.

Of these, Limassol remained in the lead with most cases (40), followed by Nicosia (16), Larnaca (10), and Paphos with just one.

The health ministry also said that all house maids, care workers and self-employed professionals need to take the test on a weekly basis. These include electricians, plumbers, gardeners, etc., who due to the nature of their work are constantly on the move and at different work locations.


Less than 15,000 received both vaccine doses

Meanwhile, the ministry added that 14,837 people have received both doses of their vaccinations, with a further 29,592 have been inoculated once.

It added that at present, only those aged 76 and older can register on the national portal for their vaccination appointment, while the national programme of inoculation of health workers continues.

As of Monday, February 15, the vaccination programme will be expanded to include pharmacists, while the week after the list of those eligible for the jab will include high-risk people, such as those with thalassaemia, patients undergoing blood transfusion due to kidney failure.

The inoculation of these vulnerable groups will continue and will be intensified throughout March, the health ministry concluded.