COVID19: No deaths, cases still above 3,000

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Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths for the first time in a week on Thursday, with new daily cases down by a handful to 3,078, hospitalisations dropped to 222 and critical cases were up at 69.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the death toll for February remained unchanged at three and 736 since March 2020.

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

Intubated patients increased by two to 30, while 75% of hospital COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

The number of patients admitted at the Covid ward of the Makarios children’s hospital dropped by four to 12.

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 265,945.

Testing resumes in primary schools

A total of 115,470 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, some 15,000 more than the day before, as testing resumed in primary schools.

From 20,855 tests in elementary schools, 126 were positive, and 96 from 11,726 tests in high schools.

A further 6,200 tests were conducted as part of the ‘test to stay’ scheme in schools, identifying 69 new cases.

The rise in the number of tests and marginal decrease in new cases from 3,083 to 3,078 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ drop from 3.06% to 2.67%, the same level as Tuesday.

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

Of the new infections, 176 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 41 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 372 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 1,633 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 998 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Of the 932 samples taken in retirement homes, 24 were positive, as well as 12 from 1,675 samples in restricted institutions.