Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths for the first time in nine days, with new daily cases dropping to 3,777 on Thursday, yet hospitalisations rising to 235.
An unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases, powered by the Omicron variant, has seen over 100,000 people go into isolation, with daily cases exceeding 5,000 three times during the past week.
The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the death toll since the pandemic remained unchanged at 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 surged to 235 from 209, having breached the 200-bed safety margin for Covid-19 patients on Sunday. The serious cases increased by three to 73.
Patient numbers increased steadily to the 170-180 level throughout December since breaking past the 100-level in mid-November.
29 intubated, 22 children
The number of intubated patients rose by one to 29, while 77% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated. Also, 22 young patients remain admitted in the Covid ward of the Makarios children’s hospital, two up from the day before.
Fifteen 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 192,157.
A total 77,255 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 53,000 less than Wednesday, due to the Epiphany holiday.
On a drop in tests and a in positive cases, 1,425 less than Wednesday, the benchmark ‘test positivity’ rate leapt to 4.89% from the previous day’s 4.0%, having skyrocketed to 5.98% on New Year’s day, six times above the high-risk barrier of 1.0%.
Of the new infections, 250 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 75 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 614 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital, and GP tests.
A further 1,328 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 1,510 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
All of the 315 samples in retirement homes tested negative, with 20 positive cases among 2,326 tests in restricted institutions.