Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, with the number of new cases and hospitalisations dropping to 188 and 67, respectively, as authorities plan to extend its COVID-19 booster shot rollout to younger ages.
With an uptick in daily coronavirus cases, scientists are concerned that a fifth wave of infections is coming.
Dr Zoe Dorothea Pana, advisor to the government on the coronavirus outbreak, told the Financial Mirror that scientists would suggest the age limit is lowered for booster shots, probably for 50 year olds and upwards.
Winter usually ushers in an increase in virus infections and currently, only those aged 60 and over are eligible for a booster jab.
The health ministry said in its daily Covid report that the death toll since the pandemic started remained unchanged at 575.
The number of hospitalisations dropped to 67 from 70, and new daily cases dropped to 177 from Tuesday’s 249.
Of the patients admitted in state hospitals for treatment, 24 remain serious, two less than the previous day.
Meanwhile, intubated patients increased to six, and 68% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated.
Another four 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 125,161.
The number of PCR and antigen rapid tests conducted during the past 24 dropped to 49,068, about 3,000 less than the day before, including about 16,400 in schools.
Of the 13,003 tests in high schools, six had the virus, while only one of the 3,421 tests in primary schools tested positive.
Rates drops to 0.38%
With a drop in the number of tests and fewer 188 infections, 61 less than the previous day, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate dropped to 0.38% from 0.49%, within the high-risk threshold of 1%.
Of the new cases, 27 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, six were passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 30 were diagnosed from private initiative and hospital tests.
A further 78 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 47 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
All of the 735 tests in retirement homes were negative, as were 47 samples from special schools and 119 random rapid tests for arriving passengers at airports.
Three tested positive among 2,106 samples taken from restricted institutions.