Cyprus reported an increase of new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, rising to 439 from 360 the day before, while the number of patients admitted in state hospitals receded to 177 from 185 on Monday, as the country prepares to relax more measures.
The health ministry said that two people died of COVID-19, raising the death toll since the pandemic started to 256, of which 25 were in March, nearing the February figure of 30.
Both the 66 year old man and the 67 year old woman had underlying health issues and had not been vaccinated. So far, 169 men (66%) have died and 87 women, with an average age of 79 years.
The number of patients admitted in six state hospitals has been dropping steadily, encouraging the authorities to consider further relaxations of lockdown measures during the Council of Ministers meeting on Wednesday.
It is widely expected that the elementary and gymnasium high school students in Limassol will be allowed back in class on Friday with little other changes as regards lifting of SMS permissions and limitations when visiting restaurants or other venues.
At present, 177 patients are being treated for COVID-19, down from 185 on Monday and 196 on Sunday, with 46 considered as critical, down from 49 on Monday and 52 on Sunday.
A total of 42,257 PCR and rapid tests were conducted on Tuesday, diagnosing 439 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, generating a test positivity rate of 1.04%, above Monday’s 0.74% and Sunday’s 0.59%.
To date, Cyprus has had a total of 45,430 coronavirus infections.
Some 135 of the positive cases were identified through contact tracing and one tested positive among 775 samples from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports.
A further 74 were diagnosed from private labs and hospital testing, while 229 tested positive in the national rapid test programmes.
Of these, 70 were in Limassol, 69 in Nicosia, 42 in Larnaca, 7 in Famagusta district and 4 in Larnaca.
There were no positive results from 591 samples taken from retirement homes, as well as 277 soldiers tested in the National Guard, while from 3,223 rapid tests in schools, five new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed.
The health ministry concluded that one passenger who had arrived from the UK and was in quarantine for seven days, tested negative and was allowed to return home for further isolation.