COVID19: Five deaths, youngest 51

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Cyprus reported five new coronavirus deaths on Friday, with new cases rising again to 2,304, while hospitalisations inched up to 170, of whom 41 were critical.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were two men aged 72 and 92, and three women – 51, 79 and 87 – raising the February death toll to 61 and 819 since March 2020.

Earlier in the day, the death toll was revised up for the second time in a week, attributing a further 12 fatalities to Covid-19 from January to August last year.

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

Intubated patients rose by one to 13, while 68% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

Some 28 patients are still considered post-Covid, one less from Thursday, 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 302,661.

A total of 110,891 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 11,000 more than the day before as testing continued in primary and secondary schools.

Of the 11,563 tests in high schools, 67 were positive, and 114 new infections from 20,401 tests in elementary schools, while 55 new cases were discovered among 5,402 samples from the ‘test to stay’ programme.

The increase in the number of tests as well as in new cases from 2,200 to 2,304, saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ drop further from 2.21% to 2.08%, 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 the past week, remaining above that level for most of the previous month.

Of the new infections, 137 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

A further 22 tested positive from 985 rapid tests in retirement homes, while all 169 tests in restricted institutions were negative for Covid-19.