A student tested at the Pancyprian high school in Nicosia

COVID19: Two deaths, high school students among new cases

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Two people died of the coronavirus in Cyprus on Tuesday, with the number of new infections dropping to 126, including 11 high school students and teachers, with hospitalisations also dropping to 103.

The health ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that two men, 70 and 73, were the latest victims of the pandemic, raising the September death toll to 31 and the to date figure to 534.

The number of patients currently admitted at state hospitals for treatment dropped slightly to 103 from Monday’s 107, of whom 43 remain in serious condition, two fewer than the previous day.

Meanwhile, 18 patients remain intubated, one less than the day before, while 80% of hospital patients are unvaccinated.

Another nine 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 2020 rose to 118,216.

A lower than normal 28,536 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, around 48,000 fewer than the day before, of whom 12,222 were high school students and teachers with 11 positive results.

With the significantly lower number of tests and 126 new infections, 33 fewer than the day before, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate rose to 0.44%, from 0.21% and well below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new cases, 46 were identified from contact tracing, linked to earlier infections, seven were passengers who tested positive in PCR tests at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 12 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.

A further 15 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies and 46 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

All of the 1,031 samples taken from staff and residents at retirement homes tested negative, as did all 204 random tests at airports and 59 tests at hotels.