COVID19: Two dead, cases drop, record tests on last day

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Two people died, and 527 new coronavirus cases were reported on Saturday, 108 fewer than the previous day, while hospital admissions also rose slightly.

So far, 26,086 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in July, or 26.59% of all infections during the past 16 months, with the total rising to 101,946.

This is due to the fourth wave of coronavirus driven by the more potent Delta variant.

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.

The Health Ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that two men, aged 68 and 82, died because of coronavirus, raising the death toll for July to 43 and 421 from March 2020.

The deadliest months on record were 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 rose slightly to 288 from 279 on Friday. Of these, 82 remain critical, three less than the day before.

The Health Ministry said that 91.13% of those admitted in state hospitals had not been vaccinated, up from 90% the previous day.

In all, a record 94,279 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted on Saturday, as it was the last day of the government free testing scheme.

From Sunday, those who are unvaccinated must pay for a rapid test.

Based on the 527 new infections and the increased number of tests, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate dropped to 0.56% from 0.86%, below the high-risk level of 1.00%.

A total of eight new infections were recorded from PCR tests at Larnaca and Paphos airports, five from contact tracing, and 94 positive test results came from private labs and hospital tests.

A further 420 were diagnosed from the national rapid test programme, down from Friday’s 455.

Of these, 109 were in Nicosia with a test positivity rate of 0.37%, 121 in Limassol (0.60%), 69 in Larnaca (0.52%), 46 in Famagusta district (0.49%) and 59 in Paphos (0.51%).