Medical and healthcare workers in the struggle to tackle coronavirus, at Nicosia General Hospital, Cyprus

COVID19: Cyprus cases rise to 5-week high of 176, no deaths

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Cyprus reported 176 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a figure not seen in five weeks when 178 new cases were announced on January 20.

There were no deaths related to COVID-19.

The health ministry’s announcement was issued as the government’s scientific advisory team was meeting to decide on the next relaxation of measures, with all students returning to class and food and beverage sector of cafés, restaurants and bars expected to reopen around March 15.

Wedding parties are expected to resume, albeit with smaller numbers in attendance, by April.

Cyprus went into its second lockdown on January 10 after a roller coaster of cases peaked at 907 on December 29.

A 9pm curfew remains in place and 20% of employees at all workplaces, private or public, need to be tested on a weekly basis.

After two days of reporting no deaths, an 89 year old man, with underlying health issues, died on Monday, raising the death toll since the pandemic started to 230 and the total for February to 29.

December and January remained the deadliest months on record with 76 each. Of these, 154 were men (67%) and 76 women, with an average age of 79 years.


Patient numbers unchanged

The health ministry added that 78 patients were being treated in four state hospitals, up from 76 on Monday, but down from 81 on Sunday. However, the critical cases dropped marginally to 25 from 26 on Monday and 24 on Sunday.

Some 27,762 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Tuesday, with 176 new cases of SARS-CoV-2. This raised the total of all infections from last March to 33,567.

Of these, 53 were diagnosed through contact tracing of known cases, two were positive among 208 samples taken from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 85 were positive results from private rapid tests and the free national testing programme.

Limassol was once again in the lead with the most cases, accounting for 65 of all the positive results from the antigen rapid tests, followed by Nicosia (13), Larnaca (4) and Paphos (1).

About 726 tests on staff and residents at retirement homes were all negative for COVID-19, as were 900 samples taken from three industrial zones and from 384 soldiers serving in the National Guard.