COVID19: Daily death toll soars to seven, new cases drop

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Cyprus reported seven coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, the second highest daily toll in two weeks, with a drop in daily cases below the 3,000 mark to 2,885, and hospitalisations also down from 233 to 206, of whom 48 were critical.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were seven men aged 58 to 93, raising the death toll for February to 21 and 756 since March 2020.

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

Intubated patients were fewer by three at 26, while 70% of hospital COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

Some 26 patients are still considered post-Covid, up seven from Monday, 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 277,864.

A total of 111,932 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 28,000 less than the day before.

Of the 20,307 tests in primary schools, 133 tested positive, as did 96 results from 12,514 samples in high schools, while 82 were positive from 6,720 in the “test to stay” monitoring programme.

‘Positivity rate’ climbs to 2.58%

The decrease in the number of tests, as well as new cases from 3,374 to 2,885 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ rise from 2.41% to 2.58%, 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, 60 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

Of the 1,147 samples taken in retirement homes, 22 were positive, with three more new cases from 1,720 tests in restricted institutions.

The health ministry also announced it was revising the format of reporting daily cases, with total tests batched together by type (PCR and antigen rapid tests) and did not provide further information about infections among arrivals at Larnaca and Paphos airports.