COVID19: New cases rising, spokesman infected despite vaccine

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New coronavirus cases continue to rise in Cyprus, with 361 infections announced on Friday, including the government spokesman, who had been vaccinated a week earlier.

The health ministry said that the 361 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed from 48,484 tests resulted in a test positivity rate of 0.74%, half of Thursday’s rate, when 324 infections were reported, but among only 21,300 PCR and rapid tests.

The total of all infections since the pandemic started is now 43,971.

The number of patients admitted in all state hospitals who are being treated for the coronavirus remained at 196, unchanged from the day before, but les than the 211 on Wednesday. However, the number of critical cases rose to 53, up from 51 on Thursday, 47 on Wednesday and 50 on Tuesday.

The health ministry said in its daily bulletin that there were no deaths attributed to COVID-19 for the second day in a row, keeping the death toll since the pandemic started at 248.

The 361 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 included 135 identified from contact tracing, three tested positive among 1,598 samples from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 78 from private lab and state hospital tests.

A further 145 new cases were diagnosed from the antigen rapid tests at labs, pharmacies and the national tree testing programme. Of these 70 were in Limassol, 30 in Nicosia, 11 in Larnaca, 10- in Famagusta district and three in Paphos.

Only one positive cases was diagnosed from 458 tests of staff and residents at retirement homes, none from 564 soldiers serving in the National Guard and 9 tested positive among 10,758 tests on staff, teachers and students conducted by mobile testing units visiting schools.


Spokesman tests positive

Government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said on Friday that a PCR test confirmed he was positive for coronavirus.

Koushos issued a statement saying he has been in self-isolation since Monday after coming into contact with a confirmed case.

He said he will remain in isolation for at least ten days, noting that he has yet to develop any symptoms.

He was vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab on March 19.