Medical and healthcare workers in the struggle to tackle coronavirus, at Nicosia General Hospital, Cyprus

COVID19: Two deaths as infection rate worsens again

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Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Monday as new daily infections shot up again beyond 2,000 to 2,356, with the rate of hospitalisations up at 150, while serious cases were also up at 37.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were a 67 year old man and an 80 year old woman, raising the February death toll to 91 and 856 since March 2020.

February became the second worst month on record on Friday when it overtook the previous record of 80 last August, while January remains the deadliest month with 100.

Intubated patients were up by one at 14, while 60% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

The number of patients admitted in the Covid wards rose from 148 to 150.

Some 20 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 322,516.

Testing resumes in schools

A total of 128,114 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 35,000 more than the previous day, as testing resumed in schools with 32,000 samples.

Of the 20,170 tests in primary schools 72 were positive, while 57 tested positive from 11,841 samples in high schools. A further 65 new infections were discovered from 4,804 samples as part of the ‘test to stay’ programme.

The rapid rise in tests, as well as new cases from 1,387 to 2,356 pushed up the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ from 1.49% to 1.84%, below the 2% level, 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 remained below 2,000 for the most part of the last week, before spiking again on Monday.

Of the new infections, 95 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

A further 21 were discovered from 1,477 tests in care homes, three from 169 tests in restricted institutions. One tested positive from 331 samples in the National Guard.