COVID19: 52 year old dies, cases still high at 288

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Cyprus reported a slight drop in new coronavirus cases to 288 on Tuesday and a 52 year old man died, breaking the chain of no deaths for five consecutive days.

The health ministry said that the patient who died of COVID-19 at Nicosia General hospital, had no underlying health issues.

This raised the death toll since the pandemic started to 232 and the first in March, with February reporting 30, while December and January were the worst months on record with 76 deaths each.

So far, 155 of the deaths were men (67%) and 77 women, with an average age of 79 years.

Despite the daily cases surging beyond 200 during the past week to 302 on Sunday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said earlier on Tuesday that the number of patients being treated in hospitals seems to be contained, due mainly to the ongoing vaccination programme.

In all, 79 patients have been admitted in Covid-wards at four state hospitals of whom 22 are critical. There were 76 patients a day earlier, 24 of whom critical, and 88 patients on Sunday.

On Wednesday morning, the online portal will open for those aged 69 years and older to book their inoculation date.

To date, 82,564 people have been vaccinated, of whom 23,604 received both jabs.

Cyprus hopes to achieve 15,000 vaccinations per day as vaccine deliveries increase. This month Cyprus should receive more than 164,000 vaccines, up 64% from the previous month.

The health ministry said that 32,933 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Tuesday, some 5,000 less than the day before. From next week, all high school students, teachers and staff must repeat their rapid tests on a weekly basis, or they won’t be allowed back in class.

The 288 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 raised the number of all infections diagnosed during the past 12 months to 35,297.

Some 515 contact tracing tests of people linked to earlier infections diagnosed 61 new cases of COVID-19, while 190 positive test results came from private and the free national rapid testing programme.

Once again, the majority of positive rapid test results were in Limassol (101), followed by Nicosia (48), Larnaca (9), Famagusta (7) and Paphos (5).

Some 665 tests at retirement homes were all negative, while the 430 samples taken from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, were also all negative.

 

Airports open to 56 markets

On Monday, Cyprus opened the airports to 56 markets, separated in colour-coded categories according to their risk levels, which will remain in place until the end of March.

Under the new COVID assessment scheme, low-risk countries currently classified in the safest ‘Green’ category are Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Passengers arriving from these countries do not require to self-isolate or carry a negative coronavirus test. They will be asked to undergo a PCR lab test upon arrival in Cyprus, the cost of which will be covered by the Republic.

Despite country of origin, all other passengers must apply for the CyprusFlightPass within 24 hours before the departure of their flight, including a Covid-negative test result.