COVID19: Two deaths as patient numbers still high

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Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Thursday and a mild drop in new cases to 632 with hospitalisations steadily increasing and rising to 165.

The health ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that the latest victims of the pandemic were two men aged 74 and 75, taking the death toll since the pandemic started to 616, of which 19 in December.

After daily infections nearly doubled to the recent high of 715 on Monday, new cases continued to drop, falling to 632.

Hospitalisations remained at high levels and increased by eight to 165, dangerously nearing the bed capacity of 200, with the more serious cases dropping by three, at 51.

Patient numbers have increased steadily since breaking past the 100-level in mid-November.

Intubated patients saw a decrease by two to 18, while 76% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated.


Eight patients post-Covid

Eight 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 143,510.

Testing increased slightly, with 87,028 PCR and antigen rapid tests, about 2,000 more than the day before, as tests in schools totalled about 21,100.

Of the 9,169 tests in primary schools 18 were reported as positive cases, and 21 new cases from 11,978 tests in high schools.

With a rise in tests and mild drop in daily infections, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate dropped to 0.73%, from 0.76%, below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new infections, 110 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 30 were passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 85 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital, and GP tests.

A further 269 cases were identified from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 138 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

All of the 757 tests at retirement homes were negative, as well as 277 tests in restricted institutions. Three tested positive among 695 samples in special schools.