Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, with new daily cases rising marginally to 3,083, hospitalisations increased to 235 and critical cases up at 67.
The latest uptick in daily COVID-19 cases could indicate that a highly contagious Omicron sub-variant has started to spread in Cyprus, say health experts.
The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims of the pandemic were two 74 year old men, raising the death toll for February to three and since March 2020 to 736.
January was the deadliest month so far with 95, overtaking the previous record of 80 deaths last August.
Intubated patients decreased by one to 28, while 75% 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 262,867.
A total of 100,762 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 13,000 fewer than the day before, as testing continued in schools.
From 12,716 tests in high schools, 112 were positive, while no tests were conducted in primary schools.
A further 4,482 tests were conducted as part of the ‘test to stay’ scheme in schools, identifying 55 new cases.
Positivity rate rises to 3.06%
The drop in the number of tests and marginal increase in new cases from 3,038 to 3,083 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ rise to 3.06% from 2.67% 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 third day in a row, having dropped below this level throughout the past week.
Of the new infections, 236 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 41 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 369 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.
A further 1,492 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 1,076 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.
Of the 1,416 samples taken in retirement homes, 24 were positive, as well as two from 150 samples in restricted institutions.