COVID19: August among deadliest months, fewer cases

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Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Sunday, equalling the deadliest months of December and January, as daily infections continued to drop, but hospitalisations saw a small increase.

Two women, aged 74 and 87, were the latest victims of the virus, that has killed 323 men (65%) and 176 women, with an average age of all deaths at 77 years.

August accounted for 76 deaths so far, equalling the previous deadliest months of last December and January, with the toll reaching 499 since the pandemic started.

The health ministry said in its daily Covid report that 208 new infections were recorded in the last 24 hours, down from Saturday’s 213, while hospitalisations were slightly up, rising to 157 from 152 the day before.

Of these, 61 are critical and 24 remain intubated, unchanged from the previous day and 84% 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 113,277.

Some 30,027 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 17,000 less than the day before.

With a lower number of test, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate rose to 0.69%, lower than the previous day’s 0.45%, and below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new cases, 14 were discovered through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, nine passengers tested positive in PCR tests at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 28 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.

A further 85 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 72 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Of these, 37 were in Nicosia, 15 in Limassol, 8 in Larnaca, 6 in the Famagusta region and one in Paphos.

All 124 samples of staff and residents at retirement homes tested negative.

None of the 130 random rapid tests on passengers arriving at both airports was positive, while 5 tests of 552 samples taken from restricted institutions were positive.