COVID19: Cases and hospitalisations inch upwards

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Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths on Thursday for the first time in eight days, with new daily cases rising marginally to 2,536 and hospitalisations inching up to 226.

January became the deadliest month to date on Wednesday, with eight deaths pushing the monthly total to 86, overtaking the previous record of 80 last August. The death toll since March 2020 remained at 724.

Hospitalisations rose marginally from 224 to 226, as serious cases rose to 76, one more from the day before.

Intubated patients increased by two to 36, while 77% of hospital patients were unvaccinated, a rate that has been rising steadily. The number of patients admitted at the Makarios children’s hospital increased to 13.

Some 17 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 246,354.

A total of 106,890 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 14,000 more than the day before, with ‘test to stay’ system introduced in schools as of Monday gaining support from parents.

Of the 7,312 tests in high schools, 45 were positive, and 115 among 21,502 in primary schools, while a further 28 new cases were discovered from 2,127 ‘test to stay’ samples in schools, double the tests on Wednesday.

Positivity rate drops to 2.37%

The rise in the number of tests, as well as new cases from 2,499 to 2,536 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ drop to 2.37% from 2.71% the previous day, having skyrocketed to 5.98% on New Year’s day, six times above the high-risk barrier of 1%.

Having peaked at 5,457 on January 4, driven by a spike in the Omicron variant, new cases remained below 3,000 throughout the past week, but do not seem to be dropping any further.

Of the new infections, 151 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 51 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 319 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 1,319 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 796 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

From 1,013 tests in retirement homes 48 were positive, and nine from 2,010 tests in restricted institutions.