Cyprus had no deaths for the tenth day in a row but saw daily coronavirus infections spike further for the third day, rising from 122 on Tuesday and 167 on Wednesday, to 175 on Thursday.
Health authorities reported the first coronavirus clusters for several months involving 23 people, as cases found through contact tracing were kept in single digits.
The Health Ministry reported two separate clusters in Nicosia, one involving 17 teenagers who contracted the virus at a graduation party and another with six people from a wedding reception.
The ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that the death toll since the pandemic started remained unchanged at 378 for the tenth day in a row with an average age of 77. Of these, 14 were in June.
It said that 47 people are being treated for Covid-19 in state hospitals, up four from Wednesday, while the number of critical cases remained unchanged at 19.
The total number of infections during the past 15 months is now at 74,174.
Some 34,427 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on the day, which based on the 175 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, generated a benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate of 0.51%, marginally up from Wednesday’s 0.50%.
This is higher than the 0.32% rate on Monday and Tuesday, but still below the high-risk threshold of 1.00%.
Of the new cases, 19 infections were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 8 passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports tested positive, while 21 new cases were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests.
A further 127 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 were diagnosed through the national rapid testing programme, up from 108 the day before and 81 on Tuesday.
Famagusta district accounted for 23 new cases, but with the highest test positivity rate of 0.87% for the second day in a row, followed by 49 in Nicosia (0.46%), 35 in Limassol (0.55%), 8 in Paphos (0.22%), and three in Larnaca with the lowest rate of 0.10%.
All 438 tests on staff and residents at retirement homes were negative, as well as all 800 samples taken from workers in industrial zones.