COVID19: Two deaths as cases, patients lower

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Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Friday, with all metrics declining, as new daily cases dropped to 2,907, hospitalisations were down to 218 and critical cases receded to 61.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were an 85 year old man and an 80 year old woman, raising the death toll for February to five and 740 since March 2020.

The total was adjusted to include two earlier unreported deaths now attributed to Covid-19, one in late January and the other last April.

January was the deadliest month so far with 96, overtaking the previous record of 80 deaths last August.

Intubated patients decreased by three to 27, while 72% 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 8.

Some 21 patients are still considered post-Covid, two more than Thursday, 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 266,823. Despite the 2,907 new daily cases, 171 fewer than the previous day, the total was adjusted down by about a further 1,000, due to recalculations of infections, the health ministry said.

A total of 117,045 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, just 2,000 more than the day before, as testing continued in primary and high schools.

From 20,928 tests in elementary schools, 142 were positive, and 75 from 12,402 tests in high schools.

A further 6,237 tests were conducted as part of the ‘test to stay’ scheme in schools, identifying 75 new cases.

The drop in the number of tests and in new cases saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ drop from 2.67% to 2.48%.

Having peaked at 5,457 on January 4, driven by a spike in the Omicron variant, new cases below 3,000 for the first time in a week.

Of the new infections, 187 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 34 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 381 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 1,528 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 910 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Of the 597 samples taken in retirement homes, 10 were positive, as well as two from 230 samples in restricted institutions.