COVID19: Cases stay above 100, zero deaths, vaccination drive uptick

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Coronavirus cases stayed above 100 on Saturday after dropping to double-digits earlier in the week, with patient numbers lower while no COVID-19 deaths were recorded.

The Health Ministry said total deaths remain at 229 deaths since the pandemic started while 107 new COVID infections take total cases to 33,153.

December and January remained the deadliest months on record, with 76 each. Of these, 153 were men (67%) and 76 women, with an average age of 79.

The ministry said that 77 patients are currently being treated for COVID-19, of whom 22 are critical, with seven on a ventilator.

This was slightly up from 76 patients on Thursday and also 22 in a critical condition.

There were over 31,000 PCR and rapid tests on Saturday as part of the government free-test drive for those going back to work and school.

In all, 31,755 tests were reported on Saturday with a positive test rate of 0.34%.

Some 23 positive cases were identified through contact tracing of known infections, 12 from private initiative and 57 detected by rapid antigen tests.

Of these, the majority, 45, were in Limassol at a positive rate of 0.55%, 7 in Nicosia (positive rate 0.06%), 2 in Larnaca (0.04%), 2 in Paphos (0.07%) and 1 in Famagusta (0.07%).

And 109 tests of residents and staff at care homes were all negative.

Five people tested positive after arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports.

Cyprus vaccinations
A total of 56,971 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Cyprus up to February 17, with the vaccination programme on track, said the Health Ministry.

Of the total vaccinations carried out, 37,750 received the first dose, and 19,221 completed two doses; 43,000 vaccinations were the elderly.

The Ministry said the aim is to conclude vaccinations of the over 70s, health professionals and patients included in certain vulnerable groups in the next two weeks.

Following advice from the ad hoc Committee, it prioritises vaccination for thalassemia, patients undergoing haemodialysis or have a severe chronic renal deficiency.

A total of 452 patients of these groups were vaccinated with the first dose, while other vulnerable groups are being prioritised, such as patients with a transplant history.

Cyprus expects to receive 130,440 doses from all three EMA-licensed vaccines in March, Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna.

It is starting at-home vaccinations for patients not able to move using mobile vaccination units.

Cyprus has set up nine vaccination centres with 20 vaccination crews with two larger centres operating in Nicosia and Limassol.

The Ministry said it has identified areas to set up bigger vaccination centres in Larnaca and Paphos in the coming days.

With full vaccination deployment, Cyprus has a capacity of 15,000 vaccinations per day, the Ministry said.