COVID19: One death, cases on downward slope

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Coronavirus cases dipped to 213 on Saturday from 324 on more tests while hospitalisations were also slightly down, but there was another death.

August is headed to become the deadliest month throughout the pandemic, with an 85-year-old man dying due to Covid-19, raising the monthly toll to 74 and 497 during the last 17 months.

The Health Ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin the monthly count neared the record 76 each last December and January.

The average age of all deaths is 77 years, with 323 men (65%) and 174 women.

New infections dipped from 324 to 213, and hospitalisations dropped from 159 to 152, of whom 59 are critical, seven less than Friday.

Of these, 24 remain intubated, down by one from the previous day and 82.9% of hospital patients are unvaccinated.

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

The total number of all SARS-CoV-2 infections since the pandemic started in March last year rose to 113,069.

Some 47,722 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 13,235 more than the day before.

Despite higher tests raised, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate fell to 0.45%, much higher than the previous day’s 0.94%, and below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new cases, 27 were discovered through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, three passengers tested positive in PCR tests at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 48 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.

A further 82 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 51 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Of these, 11 were in Nicosia, 16 in Limassol, 7 in Larnaca, 4 in the Famagusta region and 4 in Paphos.

Only two of 206 samples of soldiers serving in the National Guard tested positive.

None of the 146 random rapid tests on passengers arriving at both airports was positive, while 63 tests of guests sponsored by the hoteliers’ association detected three cases.