COVID19: Four deaths, fewer cases and patients

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Cyprus reported four coronavirus deaths on Sunday, with fewer daily cases that dropped to 2,214, and hospitalisations edged lower to 224, of whom 62 were critical.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were three men aged 82 to 90 and an 88 year old woman, raising the death toll for February to ten and 745 since March 2020.

January was the deadliest month with 96, overtaking the previous record of 80 deaths last August. To date, 465 of the victims were male (62.4%) and 280 females, with an average age of 76.3 years.

Intubated patients remained unchanged at 29, while 71% of hospital COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

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

Some 19 patients are still considered post-Covid, the same as on Saturday, 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 271,605.

A total of 85,567 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 1,500 fewer than the day before.

Positivity rate drops to 2.59%

The decrease in the number of tests and new cases from 2,568 to 2,214 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ drop from 2.95% to 2.59%, but still far above the safe marker of 1%.

Having peaked at 5,457 on January 4, driven by a spike in the Omicron variant, new cases have dipped below 3,000, having remained above that level for most of the past month.

Of the new infections, 160 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 56 were passengers who arrived at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and 138 were diagnosed from private initiative, hospital and GP tests.

A further 844 cases were detected from private rapid tests at labs and pharmacies, and 1,168 were positive from the free national testing programme, available only to those vaccinated or recovered from earlier infections.

Of the 253 samples taken in retirement homes, 15 were positive, with five more new cases from 1,705 tests in restricted institutions.