COVID19: Cases rise on record tests, 2 deaths

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Cyprus reported two deaths and an increase in COVID-19 cases on Saturday, as government testing was ramped up to record levels ahead of easing lockdown measures next week.

The two who died was a woman aged 79 and a man aged 82, both of whom had a vaccination history.

This raised the death toll for May to 22 and 334 since the pandemic started in March 2020. The average age of those who died is 78.

The Health Ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that 235 patients are currently treated in state hospitals, two less than the day before, and safely below the critical 300-bed capacity limit.

Of these, 59 are in a critical state, the same level as Friday. The average age of patients remains unchanged at 58.6 years.

Amid an increasing rate of vaccinations, the number of new COVID-19 infections has gradually fallen over the past week.

But Saturday’s 397 cases is higher than Friday’s 324, all be it on higher tests.

A record 71,251 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Saturday; the test positivity rate is also reduced, dropping to 0.56%, from 0.57% the day before.

The highest positivity rate was registered in Famagusta (0.74%).

Cyprus has confirmed 69,163 infections of SARS-CoV-2 during the past 14 months.

The new cases included 32 identified through contact tracing, linked to earlier known infections, seven passengers tested positive among 2,256 passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 108 were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests.

A further 250 new cases were diagnosed through the national rapid test programme, with testing figures expected to increase as schools reopen on Monday, making it obligatory for teachers and high school students to test weekly.

With the introduction of the ‘coronapass’ as of Monday, a negative rapid test valid for 72 hours is required to enter hospitality, gyms, and shops, forcing many more to be tested regularly.

Of the new cases, 81 were in Nicosia (0.39% test positivity rate), 65 in Limassol (0.45%), 32 in Larnaca (0.33%), 33 in Famagusta district (0.74%) and 26 in Paphos (0.45%).