COVID19: Three deaths as cases near 3,000 again

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Cyprus reported three coronavirus deaths on Monday, with new cases rising to last week’s levels of 2,930, while hospitalisations retreated to 177, of whom 40 were critical, one less than Sunday.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were two women aged 85 and 86, and an 85 year old man, raising the February death to 42 and 788 since March 2020.

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

Intubated patients increased by one to 12, while 70% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

Some 31 patients are still considered post-Covid, one more than Sunday, 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 293,040.

A total of 134,415 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 53,000 more than the day before as testing resumed in primary and secondary schools.

Of the 20,116 tests in elementary schools, 113 were positive, while 76 tested positive among 11,577 in high schools. A further 94 new cases were discovered among 6,417 samples from the ‘test to stay’ programme.

The rapid increase in the number of tests as well as new cases from 2,047 to 2,930, saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ drop from 2.51% to 2.18%, 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 last week, remaining above that level for most of the past month.

Of the new infections, 223 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

Of the 1,176 rapid tests conducted in retirement homes, 13 tested positive, and one new case was found from 255 tests in restricted institutions.