Cyprus announced a record seven deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, a figure not seen since the five and six daily deaths last December, with the previous highest death rate being six a fortnight ago on April 15.
The health ministry said this raised the death toll since the pandemic started to 321 and nine in May alone.
April was the third worst month to date with 56 deaths, following December and January which had the highest death rate with 76 each.
Of the seven who died on Monday, five were elderly women aged 82 to 97, and two men, 52 years old and 73. Only three had been vaccinated.
The health ministry said in its daily Covid report that the number of patients admitted for treatment dropped to 276 from 292 on Sunday, 274 on Saturday and 275 on Friday, while the critical cases dropped significantly to 66 from 72 the day before.
The average age of patients remains unchanged at 58.6 years.
National testing resumed on Monday, after a break because of the Greek Orthodox Easter.
In all, 32,399 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Monday, diagnosing 481 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, generating a test positivity rate of 1.48%, similar to the rate reported throughout most of last week.
The total number of infections during the past 14 months rose to 66,911.
Testing to increase
With some people returning to work on Tuesday, despite the Lockdown III restrictions in the workplace, testing is expected to increase.
Contact tracing of 827 earlier infections identified 65 new coronavirus cases, two tested positive from among 1,858 passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 36 new cases were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests.
A further 378 new coronavirus cases were identified from the free national testing programme, of which 142 were in Nicosia (1.24% test positivity rate), followed by 105 in Limassol (1.54%), 79 in Larnaca (1.47%), 21 in Paphos (0.90%) and 20 in Famagusta district (1.05%).
Two persons from 602 staff and residents tested at retirement homes tested positive for COVID-19.