COVID19: New Cyprus cases stabilise, but still high

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The number of daily coronavirus cases in Cyprus and hospital admissions seems to be stabilising after weeks of worrying increases, but Limassol is still fuelling the spread.

On Friday, the Health Ministry said new coronavirus cases seem to have slowed over the past 14 days, compared to the previous surveillance report, although they are still high.

According to the Health Ministry, Cyprus’ 14-day cumulative diagnosis rate for the past two weeks has increased to 573.5 per 100,000 population, compared to 529.6 in the previous report.

The EU safety benchmark is 150 per 100,000, Cyprus’ rate ranks among the five worst in Europe.

For Limassol, the cumulative diagnosis rate is a troubling 1,130.1, up from 1126.5, five times higher than the rest of Cyprus.

Limassol, however, recorded a slight drop in the positivity rate, to 1% from 1.3% last week.

Between March 10-23, 5,093 cases were diagnosed, of which 2,806 (55.1%)  were  reported  in Limassol, 1,238 (24.3%) in Nicosia, 489 (9.6%) in Larnaca, 308 (6%) in Paphos, 176 (3.5%) in Famagusta, and 76 (1.5%) were either in the British bases or had a residence abroad.

The median age of the 5,093 cases was 36.

On the bright side, the ministry noted: “The positivity rate in rapid tests performed in nursing homes remains at an extremely low rate, and this is registered as very positive”.

According to hospital data, there were no more admissions of patients from nursing homes.

There is still a “significant burden” on the health system but with some signs of stabilisation.

Patients getting younger

The median age of patients as of March 24 was 62; a sign interpreted as proof that Cyprus’ vaccination rollout has protected the elderly and that COVID-19 is spreading among younger people who have more contacts.

The ministry said many people hospitalised in recent days were under age 60; the majority were from Limassol.

In total, 63.1%  of COVID hospital admissions were from the Limassol district.

The median age of patients currently in intensive care units is 68, with most of them 84.% having pre-existing health conditions.

Among the 5,093 cases diagnosed since March 10, 51.2% were female and 48.8% male.

By age group, cases included 1,048 infants, children and adolescents aged 0-19, 3,286 adults aged 20-59, 754 persons aged 60 and older, while information is not currently available for five cases.

According to the data, almost one third, 30.3% (1,542 people) reported no symptoms at diagnosis, while the rest reported at least one symptom.

Almost one in four (1,234 cases) reported at least one comorbidity (pre-existing condition).

From March 1-24, 17 COVID-19 deaths were recorded; 88% were Limassol residents.

Limassol has the highest mortality rate per 100,000 inhabitants (34.2 deaths per 100,000).