COVID19: One death, cases continue to rise

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Cyprus reported one coronavirus death on Tuesday, an increase in new cases to 146 and a small drop in hospitalisations to 61, as health authorities announced a rule change for the issue of the SafePass.

The government said it will be tweaking the criteria for the issue of a SafePass, with those who have only received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine no longer be allowed to carry the permit.

The change in policy will affect some 11,000 Cypriots who have yet to proceed with their second jab, the Health Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The health ministry said in its daily Covid report that a 75 year old man was the latest victim of the pandemic, raising the death since March last year to 556.

New cases continued to increase, rising to 146 from 117, while the number of patients currently admitted at state hospitals for treatment dropped from 65 to 61. Of these, 25 remain in serious condition, one more than the previous day.

Meanwhile, 13 patients remain intubated, while 57% of hospital patients are unvaccinated.

Another 11 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 120,761.

The number of PCR and antigen rapid tests conducted during the past 24 hours rose to 53,610, around 10,000 fewer than Monday.

This included 12,382 tests at high schools, of whom six tested positive in Nicosia, while two of the 2,123 tests at primary schools were positive.

With a lower number of tests and 146 new infections, 29 more than the day before, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate rose significantly to 0.27% from 0.18% and remains well below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new cases, 23 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, seven were passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 48 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.

A further 48 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 20 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

All of the 1,359 tests on staff and residents at retirement homes had negative results, as did all 159 tests at special schools and confined institutions, as well as 38 holidaymakers in hotels and 163 random rapid tests of passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports.