Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths for the first time in seven days on Friday, with a drop in daily cases to 3,042 and hospitalisations to 257, while critical patients increased to 91 from the previous day.
The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the death toll since the pandemic started remained unchanged at 672, after three or four daily deaths throughout the past week.
January has already accounted for 34 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 3,000.
Hospitalisations rose again to 257 from 259, as serious cases were u[ by four, to 91.
Throughout December, patient numbers increased steadily to the 170-180 level, with hospital capacity increased to 300 beds.
Intubated patients dropped by one to 28, while 73% of hospital patients were reported as unvaccinated.
Also, 11 young patients remain admitted in the Covid ward at Nicosia’s Makarios children’s hospital, one less from the day before.
Eighteen 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 221,416.
A total of 122,217 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, almost the same as on Thursday.
226 cases in schools
Of the 9,527 samples in high schools, a lower 51 tested positive, where tests continue on a daily basis, while 175 new cases were identified in 22,512 tests at primary schools, ten more than the day before.
The number of tests and a mild drop in new cases saw the benchmark ‘positivity’ rate fall further to 2.49% from the previous day’s 2.54%, having skyrocketed to 5.98% on New Year’s day, six times above the high-risk barrier of 1%.
Of the new infections, 338 were identified through contract tracing linked to earlier infections, 31 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 437 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.
A further 1,491 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 906 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
Four of the 839 samples in retirement homes tested positive, with 18 positive cases among 310 tests in restricted institutions. All 16 samples in special schools tested negative.