COVID19: April death toll rises to 56, fewer patients

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Four people died of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the April death toll to 56 and the total since the pandemic started to 312.

The four were a 75 year old woman and three men aged 37, 63 and 68 years.

December and January were the worst months on record, with 76 deaths each.

The health ministry also said in its daily Covid bulletin that the number of patients admitted for treatment dropped by four from the day before to 275, while the critical cases were also five fewer at 70. The average age remains unchanged at 58.6 years.

A total of 47,621 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Good Friday, as Cyprus prepared for a sombre Greek Orthodox Easter half way through the two-week Lockdown III.

In all, 676 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 were recorded, eight more than the day before, but below the daily 700 and 800 seen over the past week. The total number of infections during the past 13 months rose to 65,909.

The figure of daily cases and the total tests generated a test positivity rate of 1.42%, significantly lower than  Thursday’s 1.79%, down from the critical 2.07% on Wednesday which was based on 845 new COVID-19 cases.

Of the daily cases, 56 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, five tested positive among 2,010 passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 236 were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests.

A further 379 positive cases resulted from the national rapid testing programme, of which 147 were in Nicosia with a test positivity rate of 1.10%, 104 were in Limassol (1.27%), 66 in Larnaca (1.38%), 24 in Paphos (0.96%) and 15 in Famagusta district (0.79%).

Two samples from 512 staff and residents in retirement homes tested positive for COVID-19, while week-long results on 7,691 workers at industrial estates and on-site testing at large businesses and public organisations showed eight positive cases.