Cyprus reported one coronavirus death on Monday, rising to 75 for January which is headed to become the deadliest month on record, as new daily cases rose to 2,815 and hospitalisations dropped further to 221.
The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victim was an 87 year old woman, raising the death toll since the pandemic started to 713.
With seven 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 (62.7%) and 266 women, with an average age of 76.1 years.
Hospitalisations dropped from 238 to 221, as serious cases fell to 75, one less than the day before.
Intubated patients increased by three to 30, while 71% of hospital patients were unvaccinated.
Some 22 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 238,773.
‘Test to stay’ starts in schools
A total of 130,466 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 47,000 more than the day before, due mainly to the ‘test to stay’ system introduced in schools as of Monday.
Of the 21,750 tests in primary schools, 136 were positive, and 57 among 7,537 in high schools.
The rise in the number of tests and increase in new cases from 1,813 to 2,815 saw the benchmark ‘positivity’ rate inch down to 2.16% from 2.18% 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, 139 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 52 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 312 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.
A further 1,608 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 808 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
From 1,606 tests in retirement homes 38 were positive, and two from 212 tests in restricted institutions.