COVID19: Two deaths as cases drop below 400

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Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Sunday, with hospitalisations increasing as a Limassol school cluster with Omicron cases increased ahead of a cabinet meeting on Monday.

The high school has accounted for all five Omicron variant infections after teachers and students returned from a trip to the U.K.

The health ministry conducted 500 tests on contacts related to the cluster, saying that more positive results are expected.

The latest victim of the pandemic were a 66-year-old woman and an 84 year old man, taking the death toll to 610, 13 of them in December.

Daily infections dipped further to 393, from Friday’s 662 and below the recent high of 706.

However, hospitalisations increased marginally by one to 146, and saw more serious cases spiral by 13 at 55.

Intubated patients decreased by two to 18, while 77% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated.

Five patients are still considered post-Covid, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state.

The total number of SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 rose to 140,851.

Testing decreased on Sunday, with 64,507 PCR and antigen rapid tests, about 14,000 less than the day before.

With fewer tests and daily infections dropping from 428 to 393, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate rose to 0.61%, from 0.55%, below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new infections, six were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 35 were passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 41 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital, and GP tests.

A further 114 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 197 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

All of the 72 tests at retirement homes were negative, while nine were positive from 1985 tests in restricted institutions.