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COVID19: Seven deaths push February to second worst month

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Cyprus reported seven coronavirus deaths on Friday, making February the second worst month on record, as new daily infections continued to drop, to 1,826, together with the rate of hospitalisations and critical cases, down to 155 and 34, respectively.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims included four men and three women, aged 54 to 95, raising the February death toll to 83 and 848 since March 2020.

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

Earlier in the day, the health ministry revised upwards the death toll during the past year, saying seven more deaths were attributed to Covid-19, mistakenly recorded under other causes of death.

The seven updated deaths occurred between March 4, and August 12, 2021.

Intubated patients were down by two at 13, while 61% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated. The number of patients admitted in the Covid wards also dropped from 167 to 155.

Some 24 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 317,167.

Positivity rate drops further

A total of 113,253 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 3,000 more than the previous day, as testing continued in schools with 36,000 samples.

Of the 11,256 tests in high schools, 63 were positive, as were 72 from 21,058 tests in primary schools, and 42 new cases among 4,301 samples acquired as part of the ‘test to stay’ programme.

The increase in tests and further drop in new cases from 1,935 to 1,826 improved the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ that decreased from 1.76% to 1.61%, below the 2% level for the second time in a month, but still 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, 89 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections, 19 new cases were discovered among 983 tests in care homes and one new infection from 198 samples in restricted institutions.

A further two new cases were recorded from 234 tests in the National Guard.