COVID19: Five deaths as cases drop to 2,200

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Cyprus reported five more coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, as new cases dropped to 2,200 and fewer hospitalisations at 257.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that four men, aged 67 to 90, and an 86 year old woman were the latest victims, raising the death toll since the pandemic started to 689. Th number was revised upwards from an earlier clerical error reporting three deaths.

January has so far accounted for 51 deaths, the second worst month on record, behind a record 80 in August 2021. To date, 434 were men (63%) and 255 women, with an average age of 76.1 years.

An unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases, powered by the Omicron variant, is beginning to abate, remaining below 3,000 for the fourth day in a row in two weeks.

Hospitalisations remained dropped from 270 to 257, as serious cases were also fewer, at 89, five less than the day before.

Intubated patients rose by four to 38 while 70% 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, seven 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 230,856.

A total of 104,965 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 29,000 less than the day before.

151 cases in schools

Testing continued at schools, where 104 were positive among 22,025 in elementaries and 47 from 7,668 in high schools.

The drop in the number of tests and in new cases from 2,918 to 2,200, saw the benchmark ‘positivity’ rate rise marginally to 2.10 from 2.07% 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, 180 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 54 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 380 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 1,050 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 642 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Six of the 975 tests in retirement homes were positive for Covid-19, as were five from among 2,236 samples in restricted institutions.