Cyprus reported a spike in coronavirus hospitalisations on Sunday, with new cases dropping slightly to 858 as hundreds gathered at the Presidential palace protesting the mandatory SafePass from Tuesday.
The protest turned violent when a group attacked the nearby Sigma TV station, burning cars and destroying equipment.
All politicians condemned the attack, including President Nicos Anastasiades, who was criticised by the opposition’s leading MP Irene Charalambidou, questioning the absence of the police.
“The attacks on SigmaTV are unacceptable. The state was absent and any attack on journalists is an attack on freedom of the press. Where was the police?” she tweeted.
The health ministry said that an 86 year old woman died raising the death toll for July to seven and 385 since the pandemic started.
The number of patients admitted for COVID-19 treatment, rising to 218 on Sunday from 203 the day before, with critical cases at 50, four less than the previous day.
The health ministry added that 91.3% of patients have not been vaccinated.
Patient numbers have been rising steadily all week, climbing from 139 last Sunday, surpassing the critical level of 200 patients, the bed capacity figure in state hospitals deemed as manageable.
Some 70,809 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted Sunday, 2,000 fewer than the previous day.
Based on the 858 new cases and a large test figure, the benchmark national ‘test positivity’ rate dropped slightly to 1.21%, from 1.27% the day before.
The benchmark high-risk level is 1.00%.
Saturday’s new SARS-CoV-2 cases pushed the total of infections for the past 16 months to 91,196.
Of the new cases, 14 passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports were positive in PCR tests, and 84 were diagnosed through private lab and hospital tests.
A further 760 were diagnosed through the national rapid test programme, 153 more than the day before, with Nicosia taking the lead with most cases, at 221, but a lower test positivity rate of 0.97%, below the benchmark of 1.00%.
Limassol was next with 194 new cases and a 1.20% rate, followed by 147 in Larnaca (1.53%), 70 in Paphos (0.89%) and 68 in Famagusta district with 1.26%.