Cyprus saw daily coronavirus cases rise slightly to 895 on Saturday with one death, only adding to the worse week for infections since the pandemic began last year.
COVID-19 case touched a record high 941 on Tuesday, fell back to 889 on Friday, but crept up again on Saturday as the more potent UK variant wreaks havoc.
After what is thought to be the third wave of coronavirus, the government called for a short, sharp 14-day lockdown to begin on Monday.
The Health Ministry said one person died, a 94-year-old woman who had not been vaccinated.
This raised the death toll for April to 42 and 298 to date.
Since the pandemic started, 197 men have died (66%) and 101 women, with the average age being 78.
The Health Ministry’s daily Covid bulletin said that the number of patients admitted for treatment at state hospitals fell to 292 from 297 the day before, with those critical remaining at 70.
However, as more older people are being vaccinated and younger people tend to ignore health protocols, the average age of patients has dropped to 58.6.
With the hospitalisations nearing the health system’s critical 300-bed capacity, the state hospitals’ authority has activated the next stage in its services to accommodate 400 patients.
Some 58,459 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Saturday, down from the previous day’s record of 66,634.
There were 895 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 producing a test positivity rate of 1.53%, rising from 1.33% on Friday.
The total number of infections over the past 13 months reached 61,576.
Saturday’s coronavirus cases included 86 identified from contact tracing; seven passengers tested positive among 1,869 arrivals at Larnaca and Paphos airports, five soldiers, and 231 from private labs and hospital tests.
A further 571 were diagnosed from private and national rapid tests.
Nicosia had the most cases (181), while Limassol and Larnaca had the highest positivity rates (1.22%)
After Nicosia (test positivity rate of (0.96%), Limassol had 152 positive cases (1.22%), 95 in Larnaca (1.22%), 40 in Paphos (0.90%) and 31 in the Famagusta district (0.93%).