Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths on Wednesday for the second time this week, as new daily cases remained above the 3,000 mark and rose further to 3,714, pushing the infection rate beyond 4%, with hospitalisations rising to 119, of whom 22 are critical.
The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the March death toll remained unchanged at 39, with the total number of Covid-19 victims since the pandemic started at 904.
January was the deadliest month on record with 101, followed by 91 in February, overtaking the previous record of 80 last August.
However, latest Health Ministry data suggests that the first two and a half months of the year accounted for more than a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths.
The number of patients being treated in state hospitals rose again, from 108 to 119, with critical cases up five to 22.
Intubated patients remained at five, while 61% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.
Some 22 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 363,792.
Fewer tests in schools
A total of 83,857 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 9,000 less than the previous day, of which 16,000 in schools.
Of the 11,330 tests in high schools, 89 were positive, while 62 new infections were discovered from the “test to stay” programme for students and teachers.
With a drop in the number of tests, and an increase in new cases from 3,294 to 3,714, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ broke past the 4% benchmark and rose from 3.57% to 4.43%, four times 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 2,500 in recent weeks and dropped briefly to 1,500-1,700 the previous weekend.
Of the new infections, 146 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.
New infections in care homes increased to 45 from among 1,274 tests, while four tested positive from 2,241 tests in restricted institutions.