Cyprus reported one death attributed to COVID-19 on Tuesday, with the number of new infections at 167 unchanged from the day before and fewer patient hospitalisations, as the country steps up its vaccination programme.
After offering the jab to 18 to 21 year olds on Monday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said the vaccination portal will reopen this week to those who missed an appointment.
At the same time, those who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can get their second jab in 8 weeks, instead of the initially planned 12 weeks, and the health ministry will be invitation by SMS as of Thursday.
Ioannou said the goal of vaccinating 65% of the population with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June is achievable.
Until Monday, 45.2% of the population was vaccinated with the first dose (334,258 adults), and 15.5% have been fully vaccinated (114,476 people).
May death toll at 36
A 67 year old man died of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the death toll for May to 36 and 348 since the pandemic started.
The ministry’s daily Covid report said that 148 patients are currently being treated for coronavirus in six state hospitals, down from 150 on Monday and 157 on Sunday, while the number of critical cases rose to 49, from 46 the day before.
In all, 45,598 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Tuesday, which based on the 167 new infections, generated a test positivity rate of 0.37%, up from 0.27% on Monday, but still lower than the high risk level of 1.00%.
Total infections during the past 14 months has now increased to 71,398.
Of the new cases of SARS-CoV-2 diagnosed on Tuesday, 24 were discovered through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, four passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports tested positive among 2,096 samples, and 47 were diagnosed among private lab and hospital tests.
A further 92 new cases were diagnosed from the national rapid testing programme, of which 39 were in Limassol (test positivity rate of 0.47%), 22 in Nicosia (0.18%), 15 in Larnaca (0.38%), 4 in Famagusta (0.17%) and one in Paphos (0.03%).
Only one person from 949 samples at retirement homes tested positive, as did 3 students and teachers among 7,332 tests in high schools.