COVID19: January headed to be deadliest month as cases drop

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Cyprus reported three coronavirus deaths on Sunday, rising to 74 for January which is fast becoming the deadliest month on record, as new daily cases remained below 2,000 for the second day in a row and hospitalisations dropped further.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were three women aged 76 to 85, raising the death toll since the pandemic started to 712.

With eight more days to the end of the month, January deaths are the second-highest tally behind the record 80 in August 2021.

To date, 447 men have died of the virus (62.8%) and 265 women, with an average age of 76 years.

Hospitalisations dropped from 240 to 238, as serious cases fell to 76, three fewer than the day before.

Intubated patients remained unchanged at 27, while 74% of hospital patients were unvaccinated.

Some 21 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 has risen to 235,958.

A total of 83,323 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 1,200 less than the day before.

An unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases, which reached 5,450 earlier this month powered by the Omicron variant, is beginning to wane.

Positivity rate drops to 2.18%

The rise in the number of tests and drop in new cases from 1,984 to 1,813 saw the benchmark ‘positivity’ rate drop to 2.18% from 2.41% 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, 159 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 60 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 158 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 666 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 885 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Seventeen tested positive among 221 samples from retirement homes and ten were positive from 2,018 tests in restricted institutions.