COVID19: Five deaths, youngest 46

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Cyprus reported five new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, the youngest at 46, with February set to become the second worst month on record. New cases dropped slightly to 2,322, while hospitalisations also decreased, to 157 and critical patients rose to 43.

New Covid-19 infections returned to the 2,000-3,000 range recorded throughout most of the last two months, after dipping to the 1,700s over the weekend.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were four women aged 46 to 84, and a 71 year old man, raising the February death toll to 72 and 830 since March 2020.

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

Intubated patients were down by two at 11, while 70% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated. The number of patients admitted in the Covid wards dropped from 164 on Monday to 157.

Some 25 patients are still considered post-Covid, 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 311,239.

36,000 tests in schools

A total of 104,793 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 28,000 less than the previous day, as testing continued in all schools with 36,000 samples.

Of the 20,424 tests in primary schools, 119 were positive, while 91 tested positive among 11,676 samples in high schools, and 49 new cases among 4,646 samples acquired as part of the ‘test to stay’ programme.

The decrease in tests and new cases from 2,698 to 2,322 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ rise from 2.04% to 2.22%, 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 the past week, and below 2,000 for the last two days.

Of the new infections, 134 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

A further ten tested positive from 995 tests in care homes.