Rapid antigen testing for COVID-19, in primary schools.

COVID19: One death as cases still above 2,000

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Cyprus reported one coronavirus death on Thursday, with new cases rising to 2,815, while hospitalisations inched down to 198, below the 200-level for the second day.

The number of critical cases also dropped marginally, from 49 to 47.

The health minister and the government’s scientific advisors will be weighing epidemiological data next week to determine whether some of the COVID-19 measures can be lifted.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that a 78 year old woman was the latest victim of the pandemic, taking the February death toll to 27 and 762 since March 2020.

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

Intubated patients were fewer by four at 14, while 64% of hospital COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

Some 28 patients are still considered post-Covid, two more from Wednesday, 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 283,458.

Testing resumes in primary schools

A total of 113,030 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 18,000 more than the day before, due mainly to testing resuming in primary schools.

Of the 12,620 tests in high schools, 80 tested positive, and 127 from 20,207 in elementary schools, while 60 were positive from 6,448 in the “test to stay” monitoring programme. There were no tests in primary schools.

The increase in the number of tests, as well as new cases from 2,779 to 2,815, saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ drop from 2.91% to 2.49, still 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, 182 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

Of the 752 samples taken in retirement homes, 17 were positive, with one new infection from 284 tests in restricted institutions.