Three people died and 635 new coronavirus cases were reported on Friday, 20 fewer than the previous day, despite July being the worst month on record accounting for just over 25% of all infections since the pandemic started.
So far, 25,559 new Covid-19 cases were recorded this month, or 25.2% of all infections during the past 16 months, with the total rising to 101,419.
Starting with 473 cases on July 1, the daily count of SARS-CoV-2 exceeded 1,000 on six days, peaking at 1,152 on July 15. Friday’s count was down from 655 on Thursday and 769 on Wednesday.
The health ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that two men, aged 59 and 83, as well as a 77 year old woman died because of the coronavirus, raising the death toll for July to 41 and to 419 from March 2020.
The deadliest months on record were both December and January, with 76 deaths each, followed by 56 in April and 48 in May. The average age of all deaths is 77.2 years.
Hospitalisations also receded slightly, dropping to 279, from 283 patients on Thursday and 286 on Wednesday. Of these, 85 remain critical, two more than the day before.
The health ministry said that 90% of all currently admitted in state hospitals have not been vaccinated, up from 88% the previous day.
In all, 74,122 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Friday, about 6,000 more than the previous day, as the government will end the free rapid tests for a number of categories, mainly those who refuse to be vaccinated.
Based on the 635 new infections and the increased number of tests, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate dropped to 0.86% from 0.96%, below the high-risk level of 1.00%.
A total 7 new infections were recorded from PCR tests at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 173 positive test results came from private lab and hospital tests, 40 more than the day before. No new cases were identified through contact tracing.
A further 455 were diagnosed from the national rapid test programme, up from Thursday’s 448.
Of these, 128 were in Nicosia with a test positivity rate of 0.53%, 118 in Limassol (0.76%), 72 in Larnaca (0.65%), 51 in Famagusta district (1.13%) and 37 in Paphos (0.51%).
Just two of 626 samples from staff and residents at retirement homes tested positive, while all passengers tested negative from 162 random rapid tests at the airports.