COVID19: Cyprus cases dip, no deaths, hospital patients rise

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Cyprus saw the number of new coronavirus cases dip considerably on Saturday from the previous day’s 705, a three-month high, but hospital admissions are up slightly while the positivity rate fell.

There were 404 COVID-19 cases registered on Saturday, taking the 13-month total to 47,282.

Throughout the week, the number of new SARS-CoV-2 cases ranged from 300 to 440 before they shot up on Friday.

The government has warned of complacency as the patients admitted in six state hospitals remains close to the critical 200 mark.

On Saturday, patients in hospital rose to 199, having dropped by a few per day from the recent high of 196 last Sunday.

The Health Ministry said that 45 patients were critical, the same as Friday’s figure.

There were no deaths recorded on Saturday, with the death toll remaining at 261.

March recorded 25 deaths, and February had 30, while December and January were the worst months on record, with 76 deaths each.

A higher than average 50,343 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Saturday, as those going back to work and school now require weekly negative Covid tests.

The test positivity rate also fell to 0.80% from the previous day’s 1.19%.

Most of the new cases diagnosed on Friday resulted from 327 positive results from rapid tests.

Some 66 cases were detected from contact tracing linked to previous infections, and 2 passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports tested positive from 1,287 samples.

The highest positivity rate from the rapid tests was Limassol (0.64%) and cases (86).

Limassol was followed by 78 cases in Nicosia (positivity rate 0.45%), 34 in Larnaca (0.46%), 18 in Paphos (0.38%) and 8 in Famagusta district (0.36%).

Wall of Immunity

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said Saturday that by the end of May, Cyprus would have developed a “wall of immunity” against COVID-19, through vaccinations, allow the government to lift any restrictions.

He called on people to cooperate and continue following personal protective measures to prevent the virus’s spread.

He also said that this week Cyprus expects around 60,000 vaccine doses.

Ioannou said that there’d been a lockdown in most of Europe since November, while Cyprus was the last country that imposed lockdown and the first to lift it.

“This is due to the cooperation of the people and our strategy with targeted tests, which was necessary especially due to the variants,” he said.