Cyprus reported three coronavirus deaths on Monday, as new cases rose nearly a thousand to 2,918 and hospitalisations remained unchanged at 270.
The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that three men, aged 64, 70 and 91 were the latest victims, raising the death toll since the pandemic started to 684.
With 46 deaths already this month, January overtook December’s toll of 41 on Sunday, behind a record 80 in August 2021. To date, 430 were men (62.9%) and 254 women, with an average age of 76 years.
An unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases, powered by the Omicron variant, is beginning to abate, dropping under 3,000 for the third day in a row in two weeks.
Hospitalisations remained unchanged at 270, as serious cases increased by two, to 94.
Intubated patients rose by three to 34 while 71% of hospital patients were unvaccinated.
Seventeen patients are still considered post-Covid, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state.
Also, ten patients remain admitted at the Covid ward of the Makarios Children’s Hospital
The total number of SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 is 228,881.
A total of 138,351 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours on the first day of testing on primary as well as high schools, 43,000 more than Sunday’s tests.
137 cases in schools
With testing resuming in schools, 96 were positive among 21,034 in elementaries and 41 from 8,925 in secondary schools.
The increase in tests and a significant rise in new cases from 1,971 to 2,918, saw the benchmark ‘positivity’ rate remain unchanged at 2.07% from the previous day, having skyrocketed to 5.98% on New Year’s day, six times above the high-risk barrier of 1%.
Of the new infections, 194 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 65 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 296 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.
A further 1,666 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 927 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
Sixteen of the 1,629 tests in retirement homes were positive for Covid-19.