COVID19: Death toll rises as new cases soar past 800

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Three people died of coronavirus in Cyprus on Monday, as new daily cases soared to 835, double the previous day’s infections, while hospitalisations rose to 179.

The health ministry said in its daily Covid report that two men died, aged 68 and 92, and an 83 year old woman, raising the death toll since the pandemic started to 623, of which 26 were in December.

The last time Cyprus reported three deaths was on November 30, with the monthly toll at 12. After a record 80 deaths in August, the number dropped to 40 in September and 20 in October.

Having seen a steady reduction in the last few days, new daily cases nearly doubled from 448 to 835, having dipped below 600 on Saturday, to 508 from 695 infections recorded on Friday.

Hospitalisations remain at high levels and increased by four to 179, dangerously close to the bed capacity of 200, with the more serious cases unchanged at 60.

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

The number of intubated patients increased by one to 23, while 81% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated, up marginally from 79% on Sunday.

Fifteen patients are considered post-Covid, up from nine the day before, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state.

The total number of SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 reached 145,996.


106,000 tests

With students returning to class for their last week, testing almost doubled to 106,483 PCR and antigen rapid tests, about 47,000 more than the day before.

Of the 7,541 samples in primary schools, 27 tested positive, while 25 were reported as positive among 11,229 in high schools.

With a rapid rise in both tests and daily infections, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate increased slightly to 0.78%, from 0.75%, below the high-risk threshold of 1%.

Of the new infections, 49 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 49 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 146 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital, and GP tests.

A further 421 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 170 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Four of the 1,262 samples from retirement homes tested positive, as were 17 among 490 tests at restricted institutions and three from 788 tests at special schools.