COVID19: 3 deaths, fewer cases and patients

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Three people died of COVID-19 on Friday, after two consecutive days of no deaths, raising the toll for May to 48 and 360 since the pandemic started.

The Cyprus health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that 73 new coronavirus cases were reported, two less than the day before, as the daily infection rate remained below 100 throughout the week.

The improving epidemiological situation, boosted by the ongoing vaccination programme, also saw the number of hospital admissions continuing to drop, at 78 on Friday from 82 the day before, while the critical cases were also reduced by three to 31.

The shrinking number has also prompted the health authorities to gradually shut down the Covid wards in state hospitals, maintaining the Famagusta General hospital as the Covid-reference clinic.

The health ministry said that 62,125 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Friday which, based on the 73 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, generated a benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate of 0.12, down from 0.17% and far below the high risk level of 1.00%.

The total number of coronavirus infections during the past 14 months has now risen to 72,307.

The health ministry said that the three deaths were a 60 year old woman and two men, aged 71 and 77. To date, 240 of the 360 deaths have been men (67%) and 120 women, with the average age now at 78 years.

The day’s new infections were discovered through contact tracing that detected 17 new case, five passengers tested positive among 3,014 arrivals at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 23 were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests.

A further 28 were detected through the national rapid testing programme, of which 2 were in Nicosia (test positivity rate of 0.07%), 9 were in Limassol (0.07%), 3 were in Larnaca (0.05%) and one was diagnosed in Paphos (0.03%). No new cases were reported in Famagusta district.

Negative results were also reported among 447 samples from residents and workers at retirement homes, 8,381 tests at major workplaces and industrial zones, and 4,382 high school staff and students.