COVID19: Cyprus struggles to bring virus under control, cases rise

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The epidemiology state of Cyprus does not seem to be improving, with the number of new coronavirus cases still high on Monday, but the number of patient admissions dropping, with the government under pressure to lift more restrictions.

With the current measures expiring on Wednesday night and Thursday being a national holiday, elementary pupils in the highly-infected town of Limassol will be allowed back to school on Friday, but no other relaxations are expected, for now.

The health ministry reported 360 new cases of COVID-19, up from the 326 the day before and 334 on Saturday, while the number of admitted patients dropped from 196 to 185, of whom 49 are critical, three less than Sunday.

Two women died, aged 75 and 85, both with underlying health issues, with the health ministry adding that neither had been vaccinated.

This raised the death toll for March to 23 and 254 since the pandemic started. Of these, 168 were men (66%) and 34 women, with an average age of 79 years.

With 48,432 PCR and antigen rapid tests conducted on Monday, the 360 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 resulted in a test positivity rate of 0.74%, higher than Sunday’s 0.59%, but still below the 0.99% a week ago.

Limassol remains the epicentre of virus contagions with a test positivity rate of 1.06%, above the benchmark 1.00%.

To date, 44,991 have been infected with the coronavirus or about 40% of the entire population.

Of Sunday’s positive test results, 66 were diagnosed from contact tracing linked to known infections, 9 were passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports and 54 were identified from private lab tests and at state hospitals.

A further 231 tested positive from rapid tests, of which 107 were in Limassol, 64 in Nicosia, 28 in Larnaca, 9 in Paphos and 3 in Famagusta district.

Of 1,393 tests at retirement homes, only two tested positive, as did 3 from 1,092 tests of workers in industrial zones, 3 from 2,709 tests in schools and two tested positive among 719 soldiers serving in the National Guard.