COVID19: Cases continue to drop as Lockdown III ends

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Cyprus reported one coronavirus death, 276 new infections and 207 patients in hospitals on Monday, the first day after Lockdown III restrictions were lifted and record tests as schools and businesses reopened.

The health ministry said that an 84 year old man died of COVID-19, raising the death toll to 25 for May and 337 since the pandemic started.

The number of patients admitted in state hospitals dropped to 207 from 224 on Sunday, while the critical cases increased by two to 64.

Earlier in the day, the health ministry warned the public that long queues had formed at rapid testing points, urging them to avoid the gridlock.

The ministry announced the wait at seven testing points exceeded 45 minutes, as Cypriots tried to obtain a negative test needed for the so-called ‘safe pass’ to move freely.

Monday saw the second highest total of 83,418 PCR and antigen rapid tests, down from Sunday’s record 109,846.

Based on the 276 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, the test positivity rate remained low at 0.33%, near Sunday’s low of 0.24% and significantly lower than the risk benchmark of 1.00%. Saturday’s new infections were 397 with a test positivity rate of 0.56%.

The total number of COVID-19 infections during the past 14 months is now 69,708.

Monday’s new infections included 51 diagnosed through contact tracing, 12 passengers tested positive among 5,195 arrivals at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 43 were discovered from private lab and hospital tests.

A further 170 new cases were diagnosed from the national rapid testing programme, of which 52 were in Nicosia (test positivity rate of 0.19%), 49 in Limassol (0.26%), 26 in Larnaca (0.22%), 6 in Paphos (0.10%) and 5 in Famagusta district (0.11%).

Only one person out of 877 residents and staff at retirement homes tested positive, as did eight among 1,481 samples from workers tested in industrial zones. All of the 514 soldiers serving in the national guard tested negative.