COVID19: Cases, patient numbers drop, “nearing capacity” says minister

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Cyprus saw a moderate drop in new coronavirus cases as well as patient numbers in hospitals on Wednesday, with the country’s health minister warning that admissions continue to exceed discharges.

No new deaths were announced, maintaining the death toll since the pandemic started at 241.

The health ministry said that 218 patients have been admitted in five state hospitals, slightly down from the 221 on Tuesday, but still more than the 208 on Monday and 205 on Sunday.

However, the number of critical patients rose to 44, from 42 the day before, 40 on Monday and 37 on Sunday.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that admissions, as 7-10 per day, were still more than the discharges of recovered patients.

“If we continue to see this rising trend in the near future, it is just a matter of time before the health system reaches capacity, where we will no longer be able to offer quality care to all patients,” the minister said.

Ioannou said that despite the recruitment of private hospitals and doctors from the private sector, “the human resources in certain specialties are not endless.”

He added that through cooperation with the private sector, the capacity to treat COVID-19 patients has increased to 400, from the 250 in December, capable to provide health services to other patients in need as well.

 

Positive test rate unchanged at 0.99%

The health ministry said in its daily bulletin that 38,685 PCR and antigen rapid test were conducted on Wednesday, diagnosing 382 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 for a positive test rate of 0.99%. This figure was unchanged from Tuesday, but higher than previous days.

The total number of infections to date is now 40,726.

The new coronavirus cases included 103 identified through contact tracing, two tested positive among passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, while 66 resulted from tests in private labs and state hospitals.

A further 211 were diagnosed from the rapid tests, half of which or 108 were in Limassol alone, where lockdown measures and social distancing have widely been ignored. The rest were in Nicosia (42), Larnaca (24), Famagusta district (11) and Paphos (7).

The health ministry added that 73 people who had been in quarantine for seven days, having arrived from Britain, were all released and sent home for further self-isolation, after they all tested negative for COVID-19.