COVID19: Woman, 29, among youngest pandemic victims

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Cyprus reported six coronavirus deaths on Friday, all women and the youngest a 29 year old woman, as new daily cases receded somewhat to 3,020, with hospitalisations dropping further to 107, of whom 21 are critical.

After daily infections dropped to below 2,000 last week and a level of 1,500-1,700 over the weekend, new Covid cases shot up to 3,695 on Tuesday and have remained above 3,000 a day.

Officials attributed the rapid rise to the Carnival celebrations and the ‘Green Monday’ public holiday, where good weather allowed for more people to meet in public, while restriction ns were also relaxed.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were all women, aged 29 to 93. One of them, an 88 year old, died on January 2, but the cause of death was only attributed to Covid-19 this week.

This raised the March death toll rose to 30 and the national figure to 895, two years into the pandemic.

The previous youngest death was a 37 year old woman in August last year, while a 29 year old pregnant Turkish Cypriot woman died in the north last September, after losing her unborn child.

January was the deadliest month on record, adjusted to 101, followed by 91 in February, overtaking the previous record of 80 last August.

Intubated patients decreased to seven, while 52% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

Some 20 patients are still considered post-Covid, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state.

Infections to date nearing 350,000

The total number of SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 has risen to 347,876.

A total of 92,720 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 6,000 less than the previous day, with testing continuing in all schools.

Of the 10,802 tests in high schools, 81 were positive and 119 from 19,720 tests in primary schools. A further 29 new infections were identified from 3,095 samples as part of the ‘test to stay’ programme.

With a small drop in the number of tests, as well as in new cases from 3,473 to 3,020, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ dropped from 3.52% to 3.26%, 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, 138 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

From 31 positive cases in care homes on Thursday, new infections dropped to two on Friday, from 843 tests, and returned to a rate of a handful of new cases seen during the past few weeks. One new infection was identified from 145 tests in restricted institutions.