COVID19: 3 deaths, 1,014 new cases, as hospitals under strain

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Cyprus reported three deaths and 1,014 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, with growing patient admissions exerting a strain on state hospitals.

A senior officer at the state health administration OKYPY said earlier in the day that no sooner had a second Covid ward opened at Limassol General hospital, that by Tuesday night 82 of the 90 newly available beds were taken up.

Patients are mostly people under the age of 50, with the youngest being 22 years old. Some 90% have not been vaccinated, the official said.

In its daily Covid bulletin, the health ministry said that 1,014 new cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed, up from 995 the day before and less than Sunday’s 1,056.

It said that three people died, two men aged 78 and 82, and an 89 year old woman, raising the death toll for July to 16 and to 394 since the pandemic started. Five deaths were reported on Monday alone.

From 231 patients admitted by Tuesday night, that number rose to 243, and the critical cases increased from 59 to 63. The health ministry said 92.2% of hospitalisations are people who have not been vaccinated.

Some 73,098 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Tuesday, about 6,000 more than the previous day.

Based on the total number of infections and an increase in tests, the national ‘test positivity’ rate dropped to 1.39% from Tuesday’s 1.48%, and higher than Sunday’s 1.21%.

The benchmark high-risk level is 1.00%, which had peaked at above 2.00% last week.

Wednesday’s new SARS-CoV-2 cases pushed the total infections for the past 16 months to 94,261.

Of the new cases, 90 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 11 passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports were positive in PCR tests, and 214 were diagnosed through private lab and hospital tests.

A further 699 were diagnosed through the national rapid test programme, 87 more than the day before, with Limassol taking the lead with most cases, at 181, and the highest test positivity rate of 1.21%, above the benchmark of 1.00%.

Nicosia was next with 174 new cases and the lowest 0.79%% rate, followed by 137 in Larnaca (1.17%), 69 in Famagusta district (1.13%) and 68 in Paphos with 0.84%.

All 539 tests of staff and residents at retirement homes were negative, as were the 83 random samples at the airports.