COVID19: Cyprus edging to EU green status

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Cyprus is closer to the European Centre for Disease Control’s green category status for coronavirus risk assessment, as its epidemiological indices have progressively improved.

The island’s 14-day accumulative notification rate has dropped to 92.1 per 100,000, compared to 130 two weeks ago. To be classified as green, Cyprus must push cases to below 75.

Cyprus two weeks ago managed to escape the high-risk dark red zone it had been in for months as daily cases climaxed to 941 in mid-April.

Currently, it is placed in ECDC’s orange category, which includes countries with a notification rate lower than 150 per 100,000 and higher than 75.

Three out of five districts have already pushed their notification rates to below 75.

Larnaca leads, dropping its rate by 70%, from 99.3 per 100,000 to just 30.2, Paphos has a 53.5 case rate, dropping slightly from 54.5, while Nicosia’s dropped to 63.5 from 103.9.

Famagusta’s rate remains high despite dropping from 222.9 to 139.1 per 100,000, while Limassol’s rate is the highest at 166.7, falling from 177.2.

In its latest epidemiological report Friday, the Health Ministry noted if Cyprus pushed cases closer to the 75 per 100,000 mark and keeps its positivity rate under 1%, the country could make it on ECDC’s green list next month.

For the last two weeks, the test positivity rate was around 0.1%, the ministry said.

It said vaccination has been paying off, as most cases were found among younger age groups, where vaccine coverage is the lowest.

The 20-29 age group saw 23.1% of cases and the 30–39-year-olds 21.1%, meaning that four in ten cases involved people of age groups with the lowest vaccination rates.

The 14-day notification rate per 100,000 people for the 20-59 age group was 109.5, while this fell to 42.3 for those 60-69, 22.6 for 70–79-year-olds and 29.9 for those aged 80 and over.

Cyprus’ overall positivity rate (rapid tests) remained at 0.1%, with Paphos, Larnaca and Famagusta’s rates at zero.

Limassol remained unchanged at 0.1, while Nicosia went from 0% to 0.1%.

The reproduction rate R(0) of the virus stands at 0.84, under one means it’s in check.

From 2-15 June, 818 cases were diagnosed. The median age was 30 (Interquartile range -IQR: 20-43years); 50.1% were males(410), 49.6% females (406) and for two cases (0.2%) information is not currently available.

Only 13.8% (113) of cases were imported.

Some 39 people were still hospitalised, nine patients were in ICU, of which eight are intubated.

The median age of patients still hospitalised due to COVID-19 is 58 (IQR: 45-67years), 76.9% (30) are males, and 43.6% (17) are from Limassol.

Deaths attributed to COVID-19 indicate that 378 people have died from coronavirus, with the associated mortality being 40.7 per 100,000.

Deaths involving men were two-thirds of the total. The median age of all deaths was 77.5.

The Health Ministry said despite the lifting of measures and resumption of social activities, people must remain vigilant if cases are to drop further.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou called on people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Variants detected, such as the Indian are taking their toll on people of younger ages, increasing hospitalisations amongst this group.

“It is necessary for younger people to come forward to get vaccinated because that it is the only way to protect their health and that of their loved ones.”