COVID19: Two deaths, new cases rise above 2,000

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Cyprus reported two coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, daily cases rose above the 2,000 marker to 2,109 pushing the infection rate to 2.44%, as the rate of hospitalisations dropped marginally to 145 and 28 critical cases, three less than the previous day.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were two women aged 71 and 85, raising the March death toll to three and the national figure to 859, two years into the pandemic.

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 two to 11, while 59% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

The number of patients admitted in the Covid wards dropped from 146 to 145.

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 326,611.

Fewer tests in schools

A total of 86,525 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 16,000 less than the previous day, as testing continued mainly in schools with 15,000 samples.

Of the 11,692 tests in high schools 66 were positive, while 39 tested positive from 4,010 samples as part of the ‘test to stay’ programme.

The drop in the number of tests, and the increase in new cases from 1,986 to 2,109 pushed up the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ from 1.94% to 2.44%, significantly higher than the 2% level, and far 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.

Of the new infections, 97 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

A further five infections were discovered from 1,235 tests in care homes and six from 1,995 tests in restricted institutions.