COVID19: One death, cases remain above 2,000

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Cyprus reported one coronavirus death on Sunday, raising the toll for January to 93, with new daily cases rising slightly to 2,225, while hospitalisations increased to 211 of whom critical cases also rose, to 74.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victim was an 88 year old man, with the death toll rising to 731 since March 2020.

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

Intubated patients increased by five to 32, while 76% of hospital COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

The number of patients admitted at the Makarios children’s hospital remained unchanged at 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 253,350.

A total of 85,303 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 1,500 more than the day before.

The marginal increase in the number of tests and new cases from 2,184 to 2,225 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ remain at 2.61%, the same as 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, and were above 2,000 throughout the past week.

Of the new infections, 150 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 61 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 106 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 863 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 1,156 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Twenty samples tested positive among 316 in retirement homes, as well as 13 from 1,678 samples taken in restricted institutions.