Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Thursday, a rise in new cases to 145 and a drop in hospitalisations to 80, as booster jabs will be offered to 83 year olds from next week.
The Health Ministry announced that COVID-19 booster shots will be available for people in Cyprus over the age of 83 as of Monday, with the supplementary vaccine offered to 86 year olds at the start of the month.
The third dose of the mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna will be available only at walk-in centres, with the vaccination portal allowing people to book their appointment online as of the beginning of October.
Earlier in September, the health ministry began booster doses for residents and healthcare workers at nursing homes, health professionals, and vulnerable groups.
The ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that a 75 year old woman and an 82 year man were the latest victims of the pandemic, raising the September total to 38 and the death toll in the past 18 months rising to 550.
New cases rose to 145 from 106 the day before, while the number of patients currently admitted at state hospitals for treatment dropped by nine to 80. Of these, 34 remain in serious condition, six less than the previous day.
Meanwhile, 12 patients remain intubated, while 74% of hospital patients are unvaccinated.
Another 12 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 March 2020 rose to 119,481.
14,400 tests in high schools and elementary
The number of PCR and antigen rapid tests conducted during the past 24 hours dropped to 57,324, around 7,000 more than Wednesday.
This included 12,935 tests of high school students and teachers, eight of whom tested positive, as well as 1,489 tests in elementary schools, all of whom were negative.
With a higher number of tests and 145 new infections, 39 more than the day before, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate rose to 0.25% from 0.21% and remains well below the high-risk threshold of 1%.
Of the new cases, 31 were identified from contact tracing, linked to earlier infections, three were passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 29 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.
A further 63 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 19 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
All of the 841 tests on staff and residents at retirement homes had negative results, as were 50 guests tested at hotels.
Of the 235 random rapid tests at airports, only one was tested as infected with Covid-19.