COVID19: 2 deaths, more cases, fewer patients

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Cyprus reported two deaths on Friday, a drop in COVID-19 hospitalisations to 120, and an increase in new infections to 135, double the coronavirus cases of the previous day.

Health authorities said Cyprus is off the ‘dark red’ list of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), as its COVID 14-day cumulative rate dropped below the safety limit of 500 per 100,000 residents for the first time.

According to the Health Ministry’s latest weekly epidemiological report, the island has succeeded in bringing the rate down from 1,034 two weeks ago to 431.6 per 100,000 inhabitants, boosted mainly by the uptick in the national vaccination programme.

Friday’s two deaths – a 68 and a 75 year old male – raised the month’s death toll to 40 and the to date figure at 352, with May the third worst month during the pandemic.

March had 25 deaths and 30 in February, while December and January were the worst months on record with 76 deaths each.

The health ministry said in its daily COVID report that the number of patients being cared for at six state hospitals continued to drop throughout the week, to 120 on Friday, 14 less than the previous day, while the critical cases remained unchanged at 48.

The 79,545 PCR and antigen rapid tests were increased by 16,000 due to the accumulated results of tests at businesses and major public organisations, with the total of all infections during the past 14 months now at 71,745.

Based on the 135 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, as well as the higher testing figures, the benchmark ‘test positivity rate’ remained at a low of 0.17%, far below the high-risk indicator of 1.00%.

The day’s new cases resulted from 31 infections identified through contact tracing, 19 were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests, while 85 resulted from the national rapid test programme.

Of the latter, 23 were in Limassol (test positivity rate of 0.16%), 19 in Nicosia (0.09%), 10 in Larnaca (0.13%), 4 in Famagusta district (0.12%) and two in Paphos (0.04%).

Among other test categories, all 2,820 samples taken from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports were negative.