COVID19: New cases drop due to holiday testing slowdown

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Cyprus reported 218 new coronavirus cases on Monday, seemingly less than the 300-400 daily range of the past few weeks, based on a lower-than-usual number of tests due to the ‘Green Monday’ holiday marking the first day of Lent.

A decision on Friday to keep Gymnasium high schools closed to the end of the month also impacted the testing total as students and teachers will not be showing up for weekly tests in order to be allowed back in class.

The health ministry said that no deaths were attributed to COVID-19, maintaining the death toll since the pandemic started at 240, while the number of patients rose to 208 from 205 on Sunday, of whom 40 were critical, three more from the day before.

The ministry daily bulletin said that 218 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 were diagnosed from 23,144 PCR and antigen rapid tests, half the samples of the past few days.

However, the ‘positivity rate’ remains unchanged at 0.94%, similar to the past few days with double the number of new cases based on double the daily tests.

Cyprus saw a moderate drop in new coronavirus cases on Sunday, at 374 from 398 the day before and 383 on Friday, based on 41,269 tests.

The total of all infections during the past year is now 39,869, ready to breach the 40,000 mark.

No new cases were diagnosed through contact tracing. Nine resulted from private lab and hospital tests, while 209 positive results were identified through the private and the free national rapid test programme.

Of these, 114 were in Limassol with a positivity rate of 1.72%, double the national average. Nicosia was next with 48 new cases, followed by Paphos (21), Larnaca (9) and Famagusta district (8).

Some 283 tests in retirement homes in Nicosia and Larnaca all had negative test results.