COVID19: Cyprus cases surge beyond 400, one more death

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Cyprus’ daily coronavirus cases went beyond 400 infections on Saturday, with one more death, hospital admissions stabilised and COVID hotspot Limassol had a positivity rate of 0.80%.

In its daily bulletin, the Health Ministry said 407 new SARS-CoV-2 cases were recorded on Saturday, up from 364 on Friday, raising the total since the pandemic to 41,882.

COVID-19 patients treated at five state hospitals dropped slightly to 201 from 204 the day before.

Of these, 46 are critical, up from 45 on Friday and 43 on Thursday.

The State Hospital Services increased the nationwide bed capacity in Covid-wards to 400, with a special unit opening in Paphos on Saturday.

One more death was attributed to COVID-19 after three days of no fatalities. The death toll since the pandemic rises to 242.

The average of patients dying from COVID is 79; the majority (67%) are men.

March has had a slower toll with an average of one death per day or less, better than February’s 30 and last December and January that were the worst months on record with 76 deaths each.

An above-average 53,774 PCR and antigen rapid tests conducted Saturday, which diagnosed 407 new infections, as the test positivity rate rose to 0.76 from 0.63% on Friday.

Of the positive test results, 125 were identified from contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

And five were passengers among 784 samples from arrivals at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 83 were from private tests.

A further 186 were diagnosed from 49,658 test results from the free national testing programme.

Limassol continued to account for most of the positive results from rapid tests, with 99, followed by Nicosia (43), Larnaca (19), Paphos 17) and Famagusta district with 8.

Limassol also had the highest positivity rate at 0.80%, followed by Famagusta 0.41% and Paphos 39% against the national average of 0.76%.

Vaccinations

Cyprus’ Vaccination Portal opened Saturday for appointments for citizens aged 66 and over; within the first hour, 6,270 slots from 8,934 available were snapped up.

The Portal will remain open until Sunday 1900, and appointments are available at all inoculation centres.

A total of 129,438 vaccinations have taken place in Cyprus; 93,475 have had the first dose and 35,963 the second.

Scientists have urged the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and not be picky about which vaccine they prefer.