COVID19: Four deaths, fewer cases and patients

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Cyprus reported four coronavirus deaths on Thursday, a mild drop in hospitalisations and a drop in new daily infections, as the government said it plans to pick up the pace of vaccinations and get the first jab for 80% of the adult population by the end of August.

Health ministry officials said that a handful of walk-in inoculation centres around the island boosted the national vaccination programme with 8,000 people, mostly young people and students, getting their first jab.

Overall, 970,000 vaccinations have taken place in Cyprus, the health ministry said, with 73% of the adult population receiving the first dose of the vaccine, and 64% are completely vaccinated.

The health ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that 655 new coronavirus cases were reported in the last 24 hours and 283 hospitalisations, down from 769 new infections and 286 patients the day before.

Two women, aged 66 and 89, and two men, 60 and 70, died from Covid-19 complications, raising the death toll for July to 38 and to 416 since the pandemic started.

Of the 283 patients currently admitted for treatment, 83 are critical, unchanged from Wednesday. The health ministry said 88% of patients have not been vaccinated.

In all, 68,230 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Thursday, about 2,500 less than the previous day.

Based on the 655 new infections and the total number of tests, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate dropped to 0.96% from 1.09%, marginally below the high-risk level of 1.00%.

Thursday’s new SARS-CoV-2 cases raised the total infections for the past 16 months to 100,784, breaking past the 100,000-mark on Wednesday.

A total 66 positive tests resulted from the contact tracing method, while 8 new infections were recorded from PCR tests at Larnaca and Paphos airports.

Some 133 positive test results came from private lab and hospital tests, 50 less than the day before, while a further 448 were diagnosed from the national rapid test programme, down from 534.

Of these, 118 were in Limassol with a test positivity rate of 0.87%, 116 in Nicosia (0.52%), 69 in Larnaca (0.76%), 59 in Paphos (0.82%) and 53 in Famagusta district (0.88%).

Five of 561 samples from staff and residents at retirement homes tested positive, while all passengers tested negative from 97 random rapid tests at the airports.