COVID19: Four deaths as new cases dip to 2,500

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Cyprus reported four coronavirus deaths on Friday, with new cases dropping to 2,485, while hospitalisations were lower at 184, below the 200-level for the third day.

The number of critical cases also dropped, from 47 to 43.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims of the pandemic were two men aged 61 and 91, and two women, 74 and 90, taking the February death toll to 34 and 780 since March 2020.

January was the deadliest month with 104, overtaking the previous record of 80 deaths last August.

The death rate was revised upwards earlier on Friday, after previously reported deaths between February 2021 and January 2022, were now attributed to Covid-19.

Intubated patients were fewer by six at 8, while 66% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

Some 31 patients are still considered post-Covid, three more from Thursday, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state.

Cases reach 286,000

The total number of SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 has risen to 285,943.

A total of 115,325 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 2,000 more than the day before, with a third of the total within schools.

Of the 11,738 tests in high schools, 95 tested positive, and 115 from 21,037 in elementary schools, while 73 were positive from 6,273 in the “test to stay” monitoring programme.

The small increase in the number of tests and the drop in new cases from 2,815 to 2,485, saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ drop from 2.49% to 2.15, still more than double the safe marker of 1%.

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

Of the new infections, 169 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

Of the 936 samples taken in retirement homes, 18 were positive, with six new infections from 1,678 tests in restricted institutions.