COVID19: New cases down, patient numbers still high

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Cyprus reported a slight drop in new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, down to 434 from 439 the day before, while patient numbers treated for COVID-19 was 176, one less than Tuesday.

The health ministry said there were no new deaths attributed to the virus, with the death toll since the pandemic started at 256. The total for March was 25, five less than the February figure of 30.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said earlier in the day that despite the number dropping, the burden on the national health system was still high.

The Cabinet decided to lift some lockdown measures which included allowing more children back to school, further relaxations at gyms and private tutorial institutes, while April 1 will also see airports opening up to flights from more countries.

The health and transport ministries announced that as from April 1, all passengers who have previously been vaccinated in Cyprus, will not be subject to quarantine or mandatory testing upon arrival at Larnaca or Paphos airports.

The number of patients admitted in state hospitals dropped to 176, from 177 on Tuesday, 185 on Monday and 196 on Sunday. Of these, 43 were critical, down from 46 the day before and 52 last Sunday.

Some 51,301 PCR and rapid tests were held on Monday, which divided by the 434 positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 meant the national test positivity rate dropped from Tuesday’s 1.04% to 0.85%, still higher than Sunday’s 0.59%.

To date, Cyprus has had a total of 45,864 coronavirus infections.

Of the positive test results, 99 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, two tested positive among 231 samples from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports and 99 were diagnosed from private lab, pharmacy and hospital tests.

A further 234 were identified from the national rapid test programme, of which 86 were in Limassol, 65 in Nicosia, 32 in Larnaca, 12 in Paphos and 4 in Famagusta district. All 455 samples from workers and residents at retirement homes had a negative result, while four tested positive from 1,912 tests in industrial zones, as did 24 cases from among 10,779 tests at schools.