COVID19: Five deaths as cases remain below 3,000

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Cyprus reported five coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, with new cases remaining below the 3,000 mark for the second day, dropping to 2,779, while hospitalisations dropped below 200 for the first time since New Year’s Eve.

The health ministry said in its bulletin that Covid patients admitted for treatment in state hospitals dropped from 206 to 199, while the number of critical cases inched up from 48 to 49.

The latest victims of the pandemic were four men aged 65 to 90 and a 94 year old woman, taking the February death toll to 26 and 761 since March 2020.

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

Intubated patients were fewer by eight at 18, while 65% of hospital COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

Some 26 patients are still considered post-Covid, unchanged from Tuesday, 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 280,643.

Fewer tests

A total of 95,572 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 16,000 less than the day before.

Of the 11,893 tests in high schools, 80 tested positive, while 76 were positive from 6,620 in the “test to stay” monitoring programme. There were no tests in primary schools.

The decrease in the number of tests, as well as new cases from 2,885 to 2,779, saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ rise from 2.58% to 2.91, well 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, remaining above that level for most of the past month.

Of the new infections, 184 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

Of the 1,338 samples taken in retirement homes, 19 were positive.