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COVID19: Cyprus data worsens as Limassol cases surge

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Limassol accounts for 68% of all Cyprus Covid-19 cases, with the town classified as a high risk ‘dark red’ zone by the European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC), the Health Ministry said Friday.

Cyprus coronavirus cases are rising back to near 400 daily cases, which is worrying scientists.

According to the Health Ministry’s latest surveillance report, a total of 1,592 or 68% of 2,340 cases recorded in the past two weeks were in Limassol with clusters located in schools.

The district has now pushed past the 600 per 100,000 mark, which the ECDC categorises as a dark red zone.

Limassol’s 14-day cumulative notification rate has spiked to 641.2 per 100,000 in the last 14 days.

Cyprus’ overall rate has also risen to 263.5 per 100,000, up from 168.7 last week.

Its rate is now significantly higher than the ECDC safety limit of 150 per 100,000, putting it among the EU’s highest risk countries.

Nicosia’s cumulative rate increased to 134.5 per 100,000 from 81.4, Larnaca increased to 91.9 per 100,000 from 65.8.

In Famagusta, it is 61.3 per 100,000 from 36.8 per 100,000, and Paphos doubled to 77.6 per 100,000 in the last 14 days from 34.6.

Cyprus’ test positivity rate has also increased significantly, doubling from 0.2% to 0.4%, with Limassol’s rate reaching 0.8% from 0.5% last week.

The ministry data shows an increase in people under 19 years old testing positive, mainly due to clusters appearing in Limassol and Nicosia schools.

An increase of cases in people over 60  was also recorded.

Hospitalisations remained at a similar level to the previous two-week period, with Limassol, yet again a worry, as it accounts for 72% of COVID-19 patients.

“In hospitals, the situation remains manageable for the time being,” the Health Ministry said.

Daily hospital admissions are eight on average, with an average of 79 people in hospital over the past two weeks.

On March 4, there were 93 people in hospital, 67 of whom came from the Limassol district.

Thirteen patients were in ICU, including ten who were intubated. The median age of those patients is 63, and the majority (12) had pre-existing health issues.

The median age of hospitalised patients was 65 (IQR: 52-77years).

The Health Ministry said there was no increase in older patients at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.

“In combination with the progress recorded by the vaccination program, vigilance is needed so that the Health System is not further burdened, with an increase in serious hospitalisations.

“Adherence to individual protection measures is essential, especially at this time when the country is attempting to restart,” said the ministry.

Cyprus has reported 36,004 COVID-19 cases and 232 deaths from the beginning of the pandemic in March.