COVID19: Cases stay above 200, Limassol has majority

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Cyprus has seen a surge of COVID-19 cases going above 200 after nearly two months below this threshold, while the number of hospital patients dropped and there were no deaths on Saturday.

Saturday’s coronavirus cases were 243, a drop on the previous day’s 272 but still relatively high compared to the average in recent weeks.

COVID cases had kept below 200-a-day since mid-January.

The previous high at this level was on January 11 with 288 new cases, a day after the second lockdown was imposed having spiralled to 907 on December 29.

Cyprus has beefed up its testing regime ahead of more lockdown relaxations on Monday, but Saturday’s positive test rate was still above the average at 0.60%.

Retail stores gradually reopened two weeks ago, and the majority of employees returned to work, and more schools will open next week.

Although no deaths were reported for the third day in a row February’s death toll remains at 30, a high of 40,747 tests were conducted.

The death toll remains unchanged at 231, with December and January the deadliest months on record with 76 each.

Of these, 154 were men (67%) and 77 women, with an average age of 79 years.

The Health Ministry said that 78 patients are currently being treated for coronavirus, two less than Friday before, of whom 20 are critical, up from 17 the day before.

Total confirmed coronavirus cases since last March have now risen to 34,424.

Of Saturday’s cases, 38 were positive results from 351 contact tracing samples, while 26 were identified from private initiative (1,354 tests).

Another 173 cases were detected from 37,892 sample taken during the free national rapid testing programme.

Once again, Limassol accounted for the majority of new cases, with 102 of the positive results of free rapid tests in the town.

Nicosia was second with 43 cases, followed by Larnaca with 15, Paphos 11 and Famagusta 2.

The rate of positive cases to tests was also highest in Limassol at 0.90%, followed by Paphos 0.34% and Nicosia 0.28%.

Two cases were found among 319 samples taken from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports.

76,000 vaccinations

A total of 76,176 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administrated in Cyprus up to February 26, of which 53,617 were people who got the first jab and 22,559 who completed their vaccination on receiving the second dose.
People aged 71 and over are currently given priority for vaccination

Some 10,818 health professionals have also received at least the first dose of the vaccine, the Health Ministry said.

Vaccination coverage has begun for patients with thalassaemic, dialysis and severe chronic kidney failure.

A total of 859 people belonging to the above groups had been vaccinated with the first dose, while new categories of patients, such as those with severe obesity, immunodeficiency are being added.

Two new Vaccination Centres opened this week in Paphos and in Larnaca.

Vaccinations are now performed at 11 Vaccination Centres across Cyprus with a total of 26 teams looking to administer 15,000 jabs daily.

Cyprus has also established a procedure for home vaccination of bed-bound patients.