COVID19: One death as cases spiral to 3,900

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Cyprus reported one coronavirus death on Thursday, as new daily cases remained above the 3,000 mark and rose further to 3,951, with hospitalisations dropping to 113, of whom 22 remain in a critical state.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victim was an 84 year old man, raising the March death toll to 40, with the total number of Covid-19 victims since the pandemic started at 905.

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 dropped from 119 to 113, with critical cases unchanged at 22.

Intubated patients increased to eight, while 58% 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.

367,000 infections in two years

The total number of SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 has risen to 367,743.

A total of 96,399 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 13,000 more than the previous day, with 35,800 tests in schools.

Of the 10,730 tests in high schools, 87 were positive, as well as 113 from 19,622 tests in primary schools while 57 new infections were discovered from the “test to stay” programme for students and teachers.

With a major increase in the number of tests, and a smaller increase in new cases from 3,714 to 3,951, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ dropped closer to the 4% benchmark from 4.43% on Wednesday to 4.10%, 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, 156 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

New infections in care homes decreased to 12 from among 1,029 tests, while two tested positive from 333 tests in restricted institutions.