COVID19: Four deaths, cases, infection rate remain high

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Cyprus reported four coronavirus deaths on Saturday, with new daily cases remaining above 2,000 while the infection rate was higher at 2.6%, but hospitalisations dipped.

Four men, aged between 70 and 92, were the latest victims of the pandemic, with the death toll rising to 92 for January and 730 since March 2020.

Of those who died, 62.3% were men and 37.5% women, with an average age of 76.2 years.

January is the deadliest month so far, overtaking the previous record of 80 last August.

Hospitalisations dropped from 208 to 203, as serious cases stayed at 68.

Intubated patients decreased by three to 27, while 74.39% of hospital COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

The number of patients admitted at the Makarios children’s hospital was up three to 16.

Some 19 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 251,125.

A total of 83,766 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 26,000 less than the day before.

The decrease in the number of tests and new cases from 2,587 to 2,184 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ rise to 2.61% from 2.35% 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 are not dropping any further.

Of the new infections, 31 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 59 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 321 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 1,052 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 721 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

The Health Ministry said Saturday that 74.7% of the general population had received the first dose, and 71.1% are fully vaccinated, while 84.1% of the adult population is fully jabbed.