COVID19: January deadliest month, 69% unvaccinated

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January was the deadliest month since the pandemic started in March 2020, with 96 deaths attributed to COVID-19; the majority were unvaccinated older people, the Health Ministry said Friday.

January surpassed the previous record in August when 95 COVID-19 deaths were recorded.

It was followed by December 2020 with 90 deaths, January 2021 with 86 deaths, April 2021 with 66 deaths, May 2021 with 59 and July with 49 deaths.

According to the surveillance report, 104 people with coronavirus died in January, a 136% increase compared with the previous month.

The ministry’s epidemiological surveillance team said 69% of the deaths last month were unvaccinated people.

Only 2% of those who died in January were fully vaccinated, 9% had received the booster jab, and 20% had only received the first dose of a two-dose COVID vaccine.

Half of January’s deaths were aged 70 and over who had not been vaccinated.

Until 2 February, a total of 738 people lost their lives to COVID-19.

According to the report, the associated mortality rate in the country is 83.1 per 100,000 population.

The updated data notes that as of 2 February, a total of 257,755 cases of coronavirus were recorded since the pandemic outbreak, of which 7,324 received hospital care.

The 31,013 coronavirus cases found in the two weeks, 19 January to 1 February, translated to a 14-day cumulative diagnosis rate of 3,492.5 per 100,000 population.

The island’s two-week cumulative case rate dropped from a staggering 5,235 per 100,000, recorded in the previous report.

The cases were diagnosed from 83,211 PCR and 1,364,727 rapid antigen tests.

The Health Ministry noted that a large share of the infections in the last 14 days was recorded in children and teenagers.

It estimates that this might be attributed to increased testing in those ages.

Authorities have increased testing among school students after imposing a test to stay policy, which sees close contacts testing daily for a week instead of staying home.

According to the data, 34% of the new cases concerned those aged 19 and under, while one-tenth were people aged 60 and older.

By age group, 10,525 infections were detected in the 0-19, 17,315 concerned 20-59, and 3,167 were people aged 60 and older.

The median age of adult cases is 39.

On a district level, information was available only for 26,543, of which 9,053 were reported in Nicosia, 7,567 in Limassol, 5,342 in Larnaca, 2,932 in Paphos, 1,633 in Famagusta and 16 cases had residence abroad.

Regarding hospitalisations, 232 people were in COVID wards in state hospitals, of which 37 were in an ICU.