COVID19: Virus soars with 3,000 cases, 5 deaths

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Coronavirus infections soared to a new daily record for the third day in a row in Cyprus with 3,002 cases and five deaths on Wednesday, as the government prepares to introduce stricter measures in an effort to control the Covid-19 spread during the New Year holidays.

The health ministry said in its daily bulletin that five elderly people succumbed to virus during the past 24 hours – three women aged 74, 77 and 94, and two men, 81 and 87.

The death toll remained rose to 635, of which 38 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.

With 800-900 daily cases reported during the past ten days, new infections leaped to 1,925 on Monday, surged to 2,241 on Tuesday and broke all records on Wednesday with 3,002, nearly triple the previous high of 1,152 in July, possibly triggered by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Hospitalisations rose by six to 174, with serious cases unchanged at 84.

Patient numbers have increased steadily since breaking past the 100-level in mid-November, raising fears of reaching the national bed capacity of 200.

The number of intubated patients dropped by three to 24, while 83% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated, unchanged from Sunday.

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 157,928.

A total 118,894 PCR and rapid tests were conducted, 20,000 more than Tuesday and 2,000 less than Monday’s high.

 

Test positivity spikes at 2.52%

With a record new cases and an increase tests, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate galloped 2.52%, dangerously past the high-risk barrier of 1.0%, from 2.29% the day before.

Of the new infections, 301 were identified through contact tracing, 106 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 542 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital, and GP tests.

A further 1,379 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 674 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Eight of the 1,102 samples from retirement homes were positive, while all 232 samples tested negative from restricted institutions, as well as six from special schools.