Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Sunday, with a significant drop in new cases to 269 and a record 110,000 tests as the country seems to be controlling the spread of the virus and prepares to lift most health restrictions imposed by Lockdown III two weeks ago.
Movement will be unlimited as of Monday, bars, cafés, restaurants and hotels will reopen, while restrictions will be eased on the number of people meeting in public.
All schools will reopen, obliging students and teachers who have not been vaccinated to test on a weekly basis, overcrowding the free national rapid test centres over the weekend.
The health ministry said that it conducted a record 109,846 tests on Sunday, up from the previous record on Saturday of 71,251. Due to the great demand, testing centres closed at 7.30pm on Sunday, an hour later than usual.
From 68 testing centres operating during the weekend, these will be reduced 63 on Monday, adding 16 mobile units visiting schools.
Students and teachers who have been vaccinated during the past 14 days are exempt from testing, as are those who have been infected and released after treatment during the past six months.
An 82 year old man who had been vaccinated and a 79 year old woman who had not, died in Nicosia General hospital, raising the death toll for May to 24, and 336 since the pandemic started.
Some 224 patients are currently admitted in state hospitals, down from 233 the day before, while the number of critical patients has increased from 59 to 62.
The health ministry’s daily Covid bulletin said that a record 109,846 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted which, based on the 269 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 generated a test positivity rate of 0.24%, significantly lower than the risk benchmark of 1.00%. Saturday’s new infections totalled 397 with a test positivity rate of 0.56%.
The total number of COVID-19 infections during the past 14 months is now 69,432.
Of the 269 diagnosed with coronavirus, 11 were identified through contact tracing, three of 4,522 passengers at Larnaca and Paphos airports tested positive, 60 were diagnosed from private lab and hospitals tests, while 195 resulted directly from rapid tests.
Of these, 69 were in Limassol (test positivity rate 0.31%), 54 in Nicosia (0.15%), 23 in Larnaca (0.19%), 11 in Famagusta district (0.19%) and 5 in Paphos (0.06%).
Of the 18,084 rapid tests for teachers and students, 15 were diagnosed in Nicosia, 5 in Larnaca, 5 in Famagusta and 2 each in Limassol and Paphos.
Vaccinations reach 20 year olds
Meanwhile, the health ministry said that vaccinations continue at a rapid pace, with the 20 to 30 year olds getting their inoculation appointments for the first jab this week, with the aim to vaccinate 65% of the population with at least the first dose of the vaccine by the end of June.
The 31 and 32 year olds were eligible for vaccination appointments on Sunday, with about 8,300 slots taken within an hour of the online portal opening at 7.30am.
Specifically, tomorrow, May 10th, from 7:30 in the morning until 8:00 in the evening,
On Monday, appointments will be made available for persons aged 29 and 30.