Rapid antigen testing in primary schools in Nicosia, Cyprus (Photo PIO)

COVID19: No deaths, data improves, primary pupils tested

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Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths for the sixth time this month on Friday, as new cases and hospitalisations retreated and primary school pupils joined the testing programme.

The health ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that the death toll remained unchanged at 550, keeping the September total at 38.

New cases dropped to 109 from 145 the day before, while the number of patients currently admitted at state hospitals for treatment dropped by three to 77. Of these, 34 remain in serious condition, the same as the previous day.

Meanwhile, 14 patients remain intubated, while 77% 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 119,590.

The number of PCR and antigen rapid tests conducted during the past 24 hours dropped to 60,278, around 3,000 more than Thursday.

This included 13,416 tests of high school students and teachers, five of whom tested positive, as well as 1,720 tests in elementary schools, of whom only one tested positive.

Testing started at primary schools on Thursday, with parents required to provide consent firms, while testing is mandatory for high school students.

 

Infection rate drops to 0.18%

With a bigger number of tests and 109 new infections, 36 less than the day before, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate dropped to 0.18% from 0.25% and remains well below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new cases, 20 were identified from contact tracing, linked to earlier infections, eight were passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 14 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.

A further 52 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 15 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

All of the 477 tests on staff and residents at retirement homes had negative results, as were 56 guests tested at hotels, 151 random rapid tests at airports and 252 soldiers serving in the National Guard.