Cyprus saw daily coronavirus cases remain above 800, but dropped slightly from the previous day to 806, with marginally fewer hospitalisations and no deaths.
The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the death toll since the pandemic started was unchanged at 623, of which 26 were in December, up from 12 in November.
After a record 80 deaths in August, the number dropped to 40 in September and 20 in October.
Having nearly doubled to 835 on Monday, daily cases dipped to 806.
Hospitalisations remain at high levels and decreased by three to 176, dangerously close to the bed capacity of 200, with the more serious cases one less at 59.
Patient numbers have increased steadily since breaking past the 100-level in mid-November.
The number of intubated patients increased by four to 27, while 79% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated, down marginally from 81%.
Fifteen 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 reached 146,802.
Testing totalled 87,531 PCR and antigen rapid tests, about 19,000 less than the day before, with 18,800 tests in schools.
More cases in schools
Of the 8,606 samples in primary schools, 44 tested positive, while 29 were reported as positive among 10,246 in high schools.
With a drop in tests and small decrease in daily infections, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate soared to 0.92%, from 0.78%, fast approaching the high-risk threshold of 1%.
Of the new infections, 121 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 47 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 185 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital, and GP tests.
A further 300 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 183 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
All of the 1,033 samples from retirement homes were negative, as were 356 tests in the National Guard, while 30 tested positive from 1,334 samples at restricted institutions.