Cyprus reported three coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, with new infections at 5,202, the second highest to date, as hospitalisations improved slightly, despite the domination of the Omicron variant.
The health ministry said in its daily Covid bulletin that two women, aged 58 and 91, and an 80 year old man died within the last 24 hours, while an unreported death from the previous day raised the death toll since the pandemic started to 650.
January has so far accounted for 12 deaths, December was the second deadliest month at 41, with the worst month on record being last August with 80 deaths.
Hospitalisations dropped marginally from 209 to 205 having breached the 200-bed safety margin for Covid-19 patients on Sunday. The serious cases decreased by six to 70.
Patient numbers increased steadily to the 170-180 level throughout December since breaking past the 100-level in mid-November.
The number of intubated patients dropped by four to 28, while 80% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated. Also, 20 young patients remain admitted in the Covid ward of the Makarios children’s hospital, unchanged from the day before.
Eighteen patients are still considered post-Covid, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state, three more than Tuesday.
The total number of SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 reached 188,380.
A total 130,076 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 7,000 more than Tuesday.
Test positivity at 4%
On an increase in tests and a drop in positive cases, 255 less than Tuesday, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate leapt to 4.0% from the previous day’s 4.44%, having skyrocketed to 5.98% on New Year’s day, six times above the high-risk barrier of 1.0%.
Of the new infections, 112 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 108 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 1,033 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital, and GP tests.
A further 2,634 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 1,315 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
Of the 1,285 tests in retirement homes, 35 tested positive, as did 3 out of 180 samples in restricted institutions and one positive case from 46 tests in special schools.