COVID19: One death as cases stubbornly above 3,000

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Cyprus reported the first coronavirus death for February on Tuesday, with new daily cases remaining above the 3,000 barrier but dropping to 3,038, while hospitalisations increased to 211 and critical cases retreated to 60.

The health minister said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victim of the pandemic was a 77 year old woman, raising the death toll since March 2020 to 734.

January was the deadliest month so far with 95, overtaking the previous record of 80 deaths last August.

Intubated patients decreased by two to 29, while 77% of hospital COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

The number of patients admitted at the Makarios children’s hospital remained unchanged at 16.

Some 20 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 259,784.

A total of 113,862 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 24,000 fewer than the day before, due to testing resuming in schools.

From 21,382 tests in primary schools, 168 were positive, while 88 tested positive among 13,102 samples in high schools.

85 from ‘test to stay’

A further 5,875 tests were conducted as part of the ‘test to stay’ scheme in schools, identifying 85 new cases, eleven more than Monday.

The significant drop in the number of tests and milder decrease in new cases from 3,396 to 3,038 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ rise to 2.67% from 2.47% the previous day.

Having peaked at 5,457 on January 4, driven by a spike in the Omicron variant, new cases remained above 3,000 for the second day in a row, having dropped below this level throughout the past week.

Of the new infections, 205 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 64 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 371 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 1,512 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 984 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Of the 1,181 samples taken in retirement homes, 21 were positive, as well as six from 1,627 samples in restricted institutions.