Cyprus reported one coronavirus death on Wednesday, a new record 1,120 daily infections and a spike in hospitalisations to 165, as health authorities warn that the spread of the virus is getting out of control.
The worsening COVID-19 landscape is past the point where it can be reversed with a new lockdown, as experts stressed the only hope for containment is vaccinations.
Epidemiologist Dr Michalis Voniatis said earlier in the day that reintroducing lockdown measures could help reduce cases, but it will not stop the virus from spreading.
Voniatis said increased cases in recent days were expected due to relaxation in COVID measures, coupled with the vaccination programme not proceeding quickly enough to buffer the Delta variant.
“We already see an increase in hospitalisations, with younger people being admitted and intubated.”
“Health protocols are not being observed at hospitality venues, with owners unwilling to perform checks. So, there will be no drop in cases any time soon.”
So far, Cyprus has vaccinated over 67% of the population with one COVID jab and just over 50% with both.
Cyprus reported a record 1,120 new coronavirus cases, 39 more than Tuesday, and up from the previous peak of 993 last Thursday, prompting the state to open walk-in clinics to boost vaccinations.
A 56 year old woman died, raising the toll for July to five and 383 since the pandemic started.
The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that hospitalisations continued to rise to 165 patients admitted for treatment, up from 159 on Tuesday, with the critical cases dropping by one to 40.
Some 62,656 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted Wednesday, similar to the previous day’s tests.
Based on the 1120 new cases, the benchmark national ‘test positivity’ rate climbed to 1.79%, up from 1.72% the day before and 1.39% on Monday.
The benchmark high-risk level is 1.00%.
Tuesday’s new SARS-CoV-2 cases pushed the total of infections for the past 16 months to 87,305.
Of the new cases, 169 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, six passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports tested positive, and 232 were diagnosed through private lab and hospital tests.
A further 713 were diagnosed through the national rapid test programme, 50 less than the day before, with Limassol remaining in the lead with most cases and the highest positivity rate – 211 and 1.58%, respectively.
Nicosia was next with 207 (1.03%), Larnaca with 119 (1.34%), Famagusta district with 69 (1.28%) and 65 in Paphos (0.95%).
All 614 samples taken from staff and residents at retirement homes tested negative.