COVID19: Slight drop in new cases, patient numbers rise

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Cyprus saw a moderate drop in new coronavirus cases on Sunday, at 374 from 398 the day before and 383 on Friday, as the population prepares for the Green Monday outings, which health officials warned could spur a new spread in the virus.

Two people died from COVID-19, raising the death toll to date to 240. However, one was a 49 year old man with underlying health issues and the other was an 88 year old woman, without a history of medical conditions.

No deaths were recorded on Saturday, but at the present rate of about one death per day, the March death toll could match the February figure of 30, while December and January remain the deadliest so far with 76 each.

Equally worrying is the steady rise in the number of patients treated for Covid at five state hospitals, after Larnaca General was added to the battle against the virus with a purpose-fitted ward.

The health ministry said in its daily report that by Sunday, 205 patients had been admitted, up from 201 on Saturday, with 37 in a critical state, three more from the day before.

With patient numbers breaching the 200-level for the second day, the capability of the country’s health system continues to be tested.

The 374 new SARS-CoV-2 cases were diagnosed from 41,269 PCR and antigen rapid tests, raising the tally of all infections since the pandemic started in Cyprus a year ago to 39,651.

At this rate, the 40,000 mark will be overtaken on Monday.

Of the new cases, 105 were identified through contact tracing and three tested positive among passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports. Some 46 resulted from private and hospital testing, while 220 were diagnosed from rapid tests.

In the latter category, 141 were in Limassol, 40 in Nicosia, 14 in Paphos, 9 in Larnaca and 7 in Famagusta district.