COVID19: New cases still high, patient numbers rise

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Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, a slight drop in new COVID-19 patients to 559 and an increase in the number of patients admitted for treatment to 205.

The health ministry said that a 62 year old man and a 74 year old woman died in Limassol General hospital, with underlying health issues, neither of whom had been vaccinated. This raised the death toll for April to eight and 264 since the pandemic started.

To date, 175 of the deaths were men (66%) and 89 were women, with an average age of 79 years.

In March, 25 people died and 30 in April, far from the December and January joint record of 76 deaths each.

The ministry also said that 205 patients are currently admitted in state hospitals, having dropped from 210 on Sunday to 196 on Monday.

Of these, the ministry said that 46 were in a critical state, one less than on Monday, down from Sunday’s 48 but higher than the 45 over the two previous days.

Earlier in the day, health officials said that there has been an increase in COVID-19 patients admitted to state hospitals from the start of the month, putting a strain on the country’s health system, but the situation is still manageable.

State health services organisation (OKYPY) spokesman Charalambos Charilaou said COVID-19 patients are becoming younger, with patients’ median age dropping to 60 from 70.

“We are currently seeing patients as young as 30 years old being admitted in COVID wards. However, their recovery time is shorter than older people,” he said.

Charilaou added that OKYPY is prepared if cases spike, as all state hospitals now equipped with COVID wards, and Paphos General set up an ACU to cater for patients with severe symptoms.

The health ministry said that 49,383 tests were conducted on Tuesday, which calculating the 559 new SARS-CoV-2 cases resulted in a test positivity rate of 1.13%, higher than Monday’s 1.03%, and significantly higher than the 0.73% rate the day before.

The number of infections in the past 13 months rose to 48,837.

Some 104 of the new cases were discovered through contact tracing, less than the 120 the day before, three tested positive from among 1,015 passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, with 10 infections diagnosed from among 194 passengers who had arrived from the U.K. and had been in quarantine in local hotels for seven days.

A further 147 new cases were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests, while 295 tested positive from antigen rapid tests, less than Monday’s 360.

For the third day in a row, Nicosia accounted for most of the positive results from rapid tests, with 104, followed by Limassol’s 67, 47 in Larnaca, 14 in Paphos and 6 in Famagusta districts.

Only two tested positive from 922 samples from workers and residents at retirement homes, while a further 40 were diagnosed with coronavirus from 10,164 samples from schools.

 

No election rallies

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry issued a statement saying that all public gatherings and rallies prior to the May 30 parliamentary elections are prohibited.

It issued the clarification “after many requests from campaign groups to be issued special permits”, saying that events that could lead to gatherings of large crowds is not allowed.

According to the latest lockdown decree issued on March 31, mass gatherings and other events, demonstrations, parades, concerts, festivals and related events in public or private venues are strictly prohibited.