COVID19: Cases, hospitalisations in downward trend

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Cyprus reported a decrease in new daily coronavirus cases to 257 on Wednesday and a further drop in hospitalisations to 181 as the government remains on course for an 80% vaccination target by the end of August.

At the same time, health experts are urging the government to rollout booster jabs against COVID-19 for the elderly and vulnerable groups as evidence suggests their immunity is wearing off.

The health ministry said that there were no deaths attributed to the Covid virus with the death toll for the month remaining at 62 and at 486 since the outbreak started.

This was the first time since August 15 that no one died from coronavirus complications.

Hospitalisations dropped to 181, three fewer from the day before, of whom 75 are critical, up three from Tuesday.

Of these, 37 remain intubated, two more than the previous day and 86% of hospital patients are unvaccinated, up from 85%.

A further 14 patients are considered post-Covid, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state.

Some 39,578 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 13,000 less than the day before.

The 257 new infections, 98 fewer than on Tuesday, and the total tests kept the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate at 0.65%, marginally lower than 0.68% and below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

The total number of all SARS-CoV-2 infections during the past 17 months rose to 112,278.

Of the new cases, 38 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, four passengers tested positive in PCR tests at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 40 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.

A further 113 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 62 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Of these, 17 were in Nicosia, 17 in Limassol, 7 in Larnaca, 6 in the Famagusta region and four in Paphos.

Seven of 571 samples from staff and residents at retirement homes tested positive.

None of the 171 random rapid tests on passengers arriving at both airports were negative, nor were any of the 176 tests of guests sponsored by the hoteliers’ association.