COVID19: Four more deaths as cases drop to 2,200

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Cyprus reported four new coronavirus deaths on Thursday, having leaped to seven the previous day, with new cases continuing to drop to 2,200, while hospitalisations decreased to 168, of whom 43 were critical.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were three men aged 63 to 93, and a 67 year old woman, raising the February death toll to 56 and 802 since March 2020.

January was the deadliest month, revised down to 100, overtaking the previous record of 80 deaths last August.

Intubated patients dropped by one to 12, while 66% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

Some 29 patients are still considered post-Covid, one less 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 300,435.

A total of 99,502 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 2,000 more than the day before as testing continued in primary and secondary schools.

Of the 2,196 tests in high schools, 12 were positive, and 74 new infections from 20,490 tests in elementary schools, while 34 new cases were discovered among 3,035 samples from the ‘test to stay’ programme.

The marginal increase in the number of tests as well as a drop in new cases from 2,549 to 2,200, saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ rise from 2.61% to 2.21%, 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, 96 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

Of the 1,049 rapid tests conducted in retirement homes, 12 tested positive, and two new cases were found from 248 tests in restricted institutions.