COVID19: One death as cases dip below 2,000

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Cyprus reported one new coronavirus death on Thursday, as new cases continued to drop, dipping below the 2,000 mark to 1,935 infections, while hospitalisations increased to 167 and the number of critical patients inched up to 37.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victim was and 86 year old man, raising the February death toll to 76 and 834 since March 2020.

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

Intubated patients were up by two at 15, while 59% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated. The number of patients admitted in the Covid wards rose from 161 to 167.

Some 23 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 315,341.

A total of 110,229 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 14,000 more than the previous day, as testing continued in schools with 34,500 samples.

Of the 9,517 tests in high schools, 47 were positive, as were 96 from 20,699 tests in primary schools, and 38 new cases among 4,414 samples acquired as part of the ‘test to stay’ programme.

The increase in tests and drop in new cases from 2,167 to 1,935 saw the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ decrease significantly from 2.24% to 1.76%, below the 2% level for the first time in a month, but still well above 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, 95 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, eight new cases were discovered among 1,058 tests in care homes and three infections from 261 samples in restricted institutions.