COVID19: August sees record deaths, cases up, fewer patients

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Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Monday making August the deadliest month on record with a toll of 78, surpassing the previous high of 76 deaths in January and last December.

A 74 year old woman and 77 year old man were the latest victims of the pandemic, taking the national total during the past 17 months to 501.

The health ministry said in its daily Covid report that 143 patients are currently admitted for treatment in state hospitals, down from Sunday’s 157, while new infections rose by 311, compared to 208 the day before.

Of the hospitalisations, 58 are critical, three less than Sunday, and 20 remain intubated, down by four from the previous day, while 83% of hospital patients are unvaccinated.

A further 20 patients are considered post-Covid, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state. This is up by six from Sunday.

The total number of all SARS-CoV-2 infections since the pandemic started in March last year rose to 113,588.

Some 53,577 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 23,000 more than the day before.

With an increased number of tests, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ dropped to 0.58% from the previous day’s 0.69%, and below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new cases, 15 were discovered through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, six passengers tested positive in PCR tests at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 72 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.

A further 173 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 45 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Of these, 16 were in Nicosia, 11 in Limassol, 8 in the Famagusta region, 4 in Larnaca and 4 in Paphos.

Only two of the 1,043 samples of staff and residents at retirement homes tested negative.

All of the 158 random rapid tests on passengers arriving at both airports were negative, as were the 69 tests of tourists sponsored by the hoteliers’ association, as well as the 180 samples taken from restricted institutions were positive.