COVID19: Three deaths as new cases crawl down to 2,800

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Cyprus reported three coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, all men, aged 71 to 77, as new daily cases dropped to 2,866, with hospitalisations climbing to 124, of whom 25 are critical.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the March death toll rose to 22 and the national figure to 886, 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 increased to ten, while 56% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

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 341,383.

A total of 78,337 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, 55,000 less the previous day, with no testing in primary schools.

Of the 11,283 tests in high schools, 82 were positive and 35 new infections were identified from 3,071 samples as part of the ‘test to stay’ programme.

The drop in the number of tests, as well as new cases from 3,695 to 2,866, raised the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ to 3.66% from 2.76%, and close to Monday’s 3.44%, but still more than triple 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 2,500 in recent weeks.

Of the new infections, 128 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

A further seven were positive from 1,307 tests in care homes, and one new infection was identified from 2,008 tests in restricted institutions.