COVID19: New cases dip to 601, as total passes 50,000 mark

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Cyprus reported a small drop in new coronavirus cases on Friday, down to 601 from 622 the day before, and distancing itself from the 3-month high of 705 seen a week ago.

The health ministry said that there were no deaths attributed to COVID-19 with the April toll remaining at 12 and the 13-month total at 268. To date, 176 men have died (66%) and 92 women, with an average age of 79 years.

The number of patients being treated in the Covid wards of state hospitals dipped from 207 on Thursday to 205, of whom 50 are critical, two less from the previous day.

A record 63,207 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Friday that produced a test positivity rate of 0.95%, below the benchmark 1.00% and far from the 1.30% noted during the past two days.

The total of all infections since the pandemic started passed the 50,000 mark to reach 50,589 on Friday, amid ongoing arguments about maintaining strict health protocols at least until the end of April with the hope that the situation would improve prior to the Greek Orthodox Easter on May 2.

Of these, 148 were identified through contact tracing, five tested positive among 1,024 samples taken from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, 125 were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests, and 323 were positive results from private and the free national rapid testing programme.

The health ministry daily Covid bulletin said that 96 of the positive rapid tests were in Limassol, followed by 86 in Nicosia, 52 in Larnaca, 15 in Paphos and 14 in Famagusta district.

Some 489 tests on staff and residents at retirement homes were all negative, while 7,615 tests in industrial zones and workplaces found 15 new cases.

Testing at schools continued with 24 positive results from 11,177 samples.