COVID19: No deaths as cases remain above 2,200

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Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths for the first time in five days on Wednesday, with new cases marginally up to 2,226 and fewer hospitalisations at 248.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the death toll since the pandemic started remained unchanged at 689, with January so far accounting for 51 deaths, the second worst month on record, behind a record 80 in August 2021.

An unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases, that reached 5,000 earlier this month powered by the Omicron variant, is beginning to abate, remaining below 3,000 for the fifth day in a row in two weeks.

Hospitalisations dropped from 257 to 248, as serious cases were also up at 92, three more than the day before.

Intubated patients dropped by three to 35 while 73% 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, five 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 233,082.

A total of 95,650 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 9,500 less than the day before.

Testing continued only in high schools, where 43 were positive among 8,495 samples.

Test rate rises to 2.33%

The bigger drop in the number of tests and small rise in new cases from 2,200 to 2,226, saw the benchmark ‘positivity’ rate rise marginally to 2.33% from 2.10% 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, 188 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 35 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 353 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 985 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 792 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

A higher than usual 30 of the 1,282 tests in retirement homes were positive for Covid-19.