Cyprus reported the first coronavirus death for March on Tuesday, with daily cases dipping below 2,000 to 1,986, the rate of hospitalisations also dropping to 146 and 31 critical cases, down six from the previous day.
The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victim was an 82 year old man, raising the death toll on the second anniversary of the pandemic to 857.
January was the deadliest month on record with 100, followed by 91 in February, overtaking the previous record of 80 last August.
Intubated patients decreased by one to 13, while 58% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.
The number of patients admitted in the Covid wards dropped from 150 to 146.
Some 19 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 324,502.
A total of 102,159 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 26,000 less than the previous day, as testing continued in schools with 36,000 samples.
Of the 21,054 tests in primary schools 69 were positive, while 72 tested positive from 11,910 samples in high schools. A further 40 new infections were discovered from 3,893 samples as part of the ‘test to stay’ programme.
The drop in the number of tests, as well as a decrease in new cases from 2,356 to 1,986 pushed up the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ from 1.84% to 1.94%, marginally 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, 80 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.
A further six infections were discovered from 1,084 tests in care homes and two from 175 tests in restricted institutions.