COVID19: No deaths as booster age drops to 60

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Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths for the fourth day in a row on Friday, with new infection cases and hospitalisation rates dropping to 142 and 56 respectively, as the government kept up the pace with its vaccination programme.

The cabinet approved a proposal to lower the current age limit of 65 for the administration of booster shots to 60 years, while the health ministry opened up the portal earlier on Friday for third jab appointments and first-time vaccinations.

The ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that the death toll since the pandemic started remained unchanged at 559, of whom seven died in October.

After a record 80 deaths in August, the number dropped to 40 in September, with ten days of no Covid-related deaths. So far, October has seen eight days of no Covid-related deaths in Cyprus.

New daily cases dropped from 153 to Wednesday’s level of 142, while the number of patients currently admitted at state hospitals for treatment also decreased from 60 to 56. Of these, 24 remain in serious condition, two more than the previous day.

Meanwhile, ten patients remain intubated, and 64% of hospital patients are unvaccinated.

Another nine patients are still 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 122,137.

 

53,800 tests, 14,500 students

The number of PCR and antigen rapid tests conducted during the past 24 hours dropped marginally to 53,801, about 300 less than Thursday.

This included 12,306 tests in high schools, of whom six tested positive, as well as 2,232 tests in primary schools, of whom only one tested positive.

With a marginally lower number of tests and a drop in new infections to 142, 11 fewer than the day before, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate dropped to 0.26% from Thursday’s 0.28%, well below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new cases, 25 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, seven were passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 32 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.

A further 54 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 24 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

All of the 632 samples taken at retirement homes were negative for Covid-19, as well as 38 tests of visitors at hotels and 29 tests at restricted institutions.

Of the 84 random rapid tests of airport arrivals, one tested positive for coronavirus.

Earlier in the day, health officials said that 20% of COVID-19 cases recorded in recent weeks were imported, attributable to an influx of tourist arrivals and Cypriots returning from trips abroad.

According to the latest epidemiological report, one in five of the 1,345 coronavirus cases detected in the last 14 days were imported.