Cyprus reported four coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, a drop in daily cases to 3,515, an increase in hospitalisations to 252 and critical patients down to 76 from the previous day.
Some 87 of the new cases were detected in high schools where tests continue on a daily basis and stricter measures are being considered.
The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were a 53 year old woman and a 55 year old man, as well as two elderly patients who succumbed in hospital, an 84 year old woman and an 88 year old man.
The death toll since the pandemic started rose to 665, with January accounting for 27 deaths. December was the second deadliest month at 41, with the worst month August 2021 with 80 deaths.
An unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases, powered by the Omicron variant, has seen daily cases exceeding 5,000 four times during the past week, edging lower to the 3,000-4,000 range.
Tuesday’s rate was below the previous day’s 4,187 and lower than Friday’s 5,244.
Hospitalisations rose again to from 252 from 245, as serious cases were down by ten, to 76.
Throughout December, patient numbers increased steadily to the 170-180 level, with hospital capacity increased to 300 beds.
Intubated patients dropped by three to 24, while 76% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated.
Also, 12 young patients remain admitted in the Covid ward at Nicosia’s Makarios children’s hospital, unchanged from the day before.
Twenty 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 is 212,074.
A total of 105,376 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 32,000 less than Monday. Of the 13,211 samples in high schools, 87 tested positive.
The drop in the number of tests as well as new cases saw the benchmark ‘positivity’ rate rise to 3.34% from the previous day’s 3.05%, having skyrocketed to 5.98% on New Year’s day, six times above the high-risk barrier of 1%.
Of the new infections, 266 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 51 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 768 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital, and GP tests.
A further 1,676 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 754 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
Seventeen of the 1,005 samples in retirement homes tested positive, with eight positive cases among 1,824 tests in restricted institutions and six confirmed cases from 180 tests in the National Guard.