COVID19: Three deaths, rise in new cases as testing resumes

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Cyprus reported three coronavirus deaths, an increase in new daily infections to 598 and a small rise in hospitalisations, as the national testing programme resumed to its earlier levels.

The health ministry said that two men aged 69 and 77 died from Covid-19 complications, as well as an 86 year old woman, raising the death toll for August to eight and 429 since the pandemic started.

The number of patients presently admitted in state hospitals for treatment increased by two to 289, of whom 98 are critical, ten more than Monday, while 89.3% of all patients have not been vaccinated, up from 88.6%.

In all, 61,589 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, nearly double the 33,583 the day before.

The number of new infections and the total test figure generated a benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate of 0.97%, a hairline below the 1.00% critical level.

This raised the total number of all SARS-CoV-2 infections during the past 17 months rose to 103,314.

Of the 598 new cases, 42 were diagnosed through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, five passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports were positive from PCR tests, and 96 were identified through private lab and hospital testing.

A further 455 new cases were diagnosed from the rapid testing programme, which remains available to most of the population free of charge.

Only those who have opted not to be vaccinated have to pay €10 for their rapid test, which needs to be refreshed every three days in order to be allowed a SafePass for entry at restaurants and large enterprises.

Most of the positive rapid test results were in Nicosia (38), followed by Limassol (29), Larnaca (14), Paphos (13) and Famagusta district (12).

All 796 samples from staff and residents at retirement homes tested negative, one tested positive among 179 random rapid tests at airports, six soldiers serving in the National Guard were positive, as were 10 people from among 4.936 tests at large enterprises and public organisations tested throughout the past week.