COVID19: No deaths, fewer cases, Indian variant confirmed

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Cyprus reported no deaths on Wednesday, a significant drop in new cases to 135 and a steady number of 148 patients, as health authorities confirmed the first cases of the Indian variant of the coronavirus.

The Health Ministry said it detected four people who were isolated before coming into contact with others.

The samples from people arriving from ‘Grey’ category countries after obtaining a special permit were sent to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) for specialised tests.

“These people were quarantined in hotels based on protocols and were taken to the rehabilitation centre in Tersefanou when their PCR results came back positive,” the ministry said, adding they did not come into contact with other people.

The four cases of the Indian variant of SARS-CoV-2 and two with the South African variant involved three people from India, one from Pakistan, one from the Philippines and another from Nepal.

No one died of the coronavirus, maintaining the death toll for May at 36 and 348 since the pandemic started.

The ministry’s daily Covid report said that 148 patients remain in hospital who are being treated for coronavirus in six state hospitals, unchanged from Tuesday, while the number of critical cases dropped to 47 from 49 the day before.

In all, 44,312 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Wednesday, which, based on the 135 new COVID-19 infections, generated a test positivity rate of 0.30%, safely below the risk factor of 1.00%.

The total number of coronavirus infections during the past 14 months rose to 71,533.

Of the new cases, 22 were discovered from contact tracing of known infections, two passengers from 2,047 arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports tested positive, and 45 were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests.

A further 66 new cases were identified from the national rapid testing programme, of which 22 were in Limassol (test positivity rate of 0.26%), 13 in Nicosia (0.11%), 13 in Famagusta district (0.46%), 8 in Larnaca (0.18%), and 3 in Paphos (0.09%).

All of the 662 samples from residents and staff at retirement homes tested negative, as did all 5,746 samples from high school students and teachers.