COVID19: New cases gallop to 827

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Cyprus saw its coronavirus cases rise for the second week, with the daily count rising to 827 from 787 the day before, as experts fear daily infections will reach a thousand, shattering the previous record of 941, which triggered a two-week lockdown in late April.

A government advisor on the coronavirus outbreak, virologist Dr Peter Karayiannis said that “Monday’s 787 cases reveal the virus is spreading rapidly.”

He added that “it is not impossible to see a thousand daily cases with the way things are turning out. The situation is really bad.”

Karayiannis said Health Ministry data shows most recently infected people were under 40, and at least 55% of new cases were detected among people under 25.

The Health Ministry said in its daily bulletin that there were no deaths attributed to  Covid-19, with the death toll at two for July, and unchanged at 380 since the pandemic started.

Hospitalisations also continued to rise attributed to the Delta strain, with 89 patients currently admitted in four state hospitals, one more than the day before.

The number of critical cases rose by three from Monday to 26.

In all, 41,505 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on the day which, based on the 827 new cases generated a benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate of 1.99%, up from 1.80% on Monday and almost double the high-risk level of 1.00%.

Tuesday’s new coronavirus cases pushed the total of all infections during the past 16 months to 79,636.

Of the new cases, 62 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, six passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports were positive in PCR tests, and 121 cases were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests.

A further 638 new cases were diagnosed through the national free rapid testing programme, up from Monday’s 615, of which 216 were in Limassol (test positivity rate of 2.50%), followed by 178 in Nicosia (1.35%), 66 in Larnaca (1.68%), 65 in Paphos (1.50%) and 57 in Famagusta district (1.79%).

Of the 412 samples from staff and residents at retirement homes, none tested positive in Limassol, 8 were diagnosed among 557 samples taken in industrial zones, one soldier serving in the National Guard was infected and one passenger was diagnosed from 229 rapid tests at the airports.