Cyprus saw a mild improvement in its fight to control the spread of the virus, with 773 new cases of COVID 19 on Sunday, significantly lower than the 895 the previous day and the record 941 earlier in the week, on Tuesday.
The health ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that there were no new deaths, with the death toll for April remaining at 42 and 298 to date.
However, Sunday saw the most worrying of benchmarks breached since the pandemic started, with 301 hospitalisations, of whom 74 are critical and with the average age of all patients being 58.6 years.
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.
After what is thought to be the third wave of the coronavirus, the government called for a short, sharp 14-day lockdown that begins on Monday.
A large part of the population took advantage of the clear and warm weather conditions on Sunday and headed to the beaches, as the country prepares to slow down due to the Greek Orthodox Easter on May 2.
Some 56,862 PCR and rapid tests were conducted on Sunday, which based on the 773 new SARS-CoV-2 cases generated a test positivity rate of 1.36%, slightly above Friday’s 1.33% but an improvement from Saturday’s 1.53%.
During the past 13 months, Cyprus counts a total of 62,349 coronavirus infections.
Among Sunday’s new cases, 113 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 155 were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests, while 505 were positive from the antigen rapid testing programme.
Of these, 198 were in Nicosia (test positivity rate 0.90%), followed by Limassol with 157 (1.13%), Larnaca had 75 (0.89%), Paphos with 36 (0.82%), and Famagusta district with 23 (0.69%).