COVID19: No deaths, daily cases rise again

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Cyprus reported no deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Tuesday with a small increase in hospitalisations and new infections rising from 57 to 64, as the country banned all arrivals from India.

Cyprus has decided to ban entry to people arriving from India in a bid to keep the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus from entering the island, with those exempted having to self-isolate.

A handful of the new variant cases, first detected in India, which has become the dominant variant in the UK, has health authorities on their toes.

The health ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that the death toll since the pandemic started remained unchanged at 374, of whom 14 were reported in June.

It said that 32 patients are currently admitted in state hospitals for treatment, two more than Monday, of whom 9 are critical, down from 11 the day before.

Some 35,729 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on the day which, based on the 64 new cases, generated a test positivity rate of 0.18%, on an upward trend in the past few days, but still far below the high-risk benchmark reading of 1.00%.

In all, Cyprus has recorded 73,311 cases of SARS-CoV-2 during the past 15 months.

Of the new cases, 12 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, four passengers among 2,899 samples from arrivals at Larnaca and Paphos airports tested positive, while 13 were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests.

A further 35 were diagnosed through the national rapid testing programme, of which 12 were in Limassol with a test positivity rate of 0.20%, 12 in Nicosia (0.12%), 4 in Famagusta district (0.20%), two in Paphos (0.07%), and one in Larnaca (0.04%).

All of the 962 samples from staff and residents at retirement homes tested negative, while two of 522 samples in industrial zones tested positive, as were two samples from 4,724 tested at high schools.