COVID19: Record 952 cases, hospitalisations also rise

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Cyprus reported a record 952 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, shattering the previous all-time high of 941, which triggered a two-week lockdown in late April.

The number of new infections continued to rise into the second week, to 787 on Monday and 827 on Tuesday, despite the spread of the virus contained at below-100 levels in early June.

With the last of the restrictions lifted, allowing for a blitz in weddings and school graduation parties, combined with the indifference of younger people under 40 to get vaccinated, daily cases of Covid-19 saw a spiral increase.

A government advisor on the coronavirus outbreak, virologist Dr Peter Karayiannis said that 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 for the second day, with the death toll at two for July, and unchanged at 380 since the pandemic started.

However, hospitalisations continued to rise attributed to the Delta strain, with 93 patients currently admitted in state hospitals, four more than the day before.

The number of critical cases rose by one from Tuesday to 27.

In all, 44,045 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on the day which, based on the 952 new cases generated a national benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate of 2.16%, up from 1.99% on Tuesday and more than double the high-risk level of 1.00%.

Wednesday’s new coronavirus cases pushed the total of all infections during the past 16 months to 80,588.

Of the new cases, 109 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, up from 62 the previous day, six passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports were positive in PCR tests, and 156 cases were diagnosed from private lab and hospital tests, increasing from 121.

A further 681 new cases were diagnosed through the national free rapid testing programme, up from Tuesday’s 638, of which 221 were in Limassol (test positivity rate of 2.59%), followed by 194 in Nicosia (1.37%), 105 in Larnaca (1.87%), 65 in Paphos (1.60%) and 79 in Famagusta district (2.10%).

Of the 435 samples from staff and residents at retirement homes, none tested positive, as were 593 samples taken in industrial zones.