Medical and healthcare workers in the struggle to tackle coronavirus, at Nicosia General Hospital, Cyprus

COVID19: New cases spike to 314, clusters in clubs

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New coronavirus cases surged to a three month high of 314 on Monday, up from 226 and 216 the previous days and triple the infections seen last week, as health officials fear complacency, especially among young people, is the main culprit.

The last time new daily cases breached the 300-level was on March 27 with 334.

The health ministry’s contact tracing team said 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past week, with 20 clusters mainly in the Famagusta area and night clubs in the popular holidays resorts of Ayia Napa and Protaras

President Nicos Anastasiades chaired an emergency meeting of the government’s scientific advisors late on Monday after which he said that the only way to combat the spread of the virus, especially the highly potent Indian ‘Delta strain’ is to continue with the national vaccination programme.

“It is unacceptable that 70% of the under-40s have not or refuse to inoculated, accounting for 90% of hospitalisations,” Anastasiades said.

The Health Ministry said that there were no deaths attributed to Covid-19, making it the fourteenth day in a row.

The death toll since the pandemic started remained unchanged at 378 with an average age of 77. Of these, 14 were in June.

 

Hospitalisations rise

In its daily Covid bulletin, the ministry said Monday’s hospitalisation rate continued to worsen with 54 people being treated for Covid-19 in state hospitals, four more than Sunday. The number of critical cases dropped marginally, down one to 17.

The total number of infections during the past 15 months is now at 75,099.

Some 37,546 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Monday which, based on the 314 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, saw the benchmark national ‘test positivity’ rate leap from 0.56% to 0.84%, closer to the high-risk threshold of 1.00%.

Of the new cases, 28 new infections were identified through contact tracing, nine passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports tested positive, while 48 new cases were diagnosed from private labs and hospital tests.

A further 229 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 were diagnosed through the national rapid testing programme, up 52 from Sunday.

Once again, the Famagusta district accounted for 58 new cases and the highest test positivity rate that jumped from 1.53% to 2.06%, double the high-risk level of 1.00% not seen since last year.

Nicosia had the most cases with 75 (0.65%), followed by 43 in Limassol (0.59%), 31 in Larnaca (0.72%), and 13 in Paphos with the lowest rate of 0.45%.

No new infections were reported from 949 samples taken from staff and residents at retirement homes, as well as 497 samples in industrial zones, while three soldiers tested positive among 369 tests in the National Guard.