Cyprus reported four coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, a drop in daily cases to 3,197, an increase in hospitalisations to 266 and critical patients rising to 93 from the previous day.
The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were two men aged 57 and 87, as well as two women, 68 and 81, with the death toll since the pandemic started rising to 669.
January has already accounted for 31 deaths, fast catching up with the second worst month of December with 41 deaths, after a record 80 in August 2021.
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 this week to the 3,000-4,000 range.
Hospitalisations rose again to from 266 from 252, as serious cases were up by 17, to 93.
Throughout December, patient numbers increased steadily to the 170-180 level, with hospital capacity increased to 300 beds.
Intubated patients rose by four to 28, while 76% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated.
Also, 14 young patients remain admitted in the Covid ward at Nicosia’s Makarios children’s hospital, two more from the day before.
Sixteen 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 215,271.
90 cases in high schools
A total of 112,233 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 7,000 more than Tuesday. Of the 12,571 samples in high schools, 90 tested positive, where tests continue on a daily basis.
The rise in the number of tests and a drop in new cases saw the benchmark ‘positivity’ rate rise fall 2.85% from the previous day’s 3.34%, having skyrocketed to 5.98% on New Year’s day, six times above the high-risk barrier of 1%.
Of the new infections, 317 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 43 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 388 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital, and GP tests.
A further 1,352 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 1,097 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
Six of the 1,143 samples in retirement homes tested positive, with two positive cases among 187 tests in restricted institutions.