COVID19: No deaths as cases still high

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Cyprus reported no coronavirus deaths on Friday, the third time this week, as new daily cases remained well above the 3,000 mark and dipped from the previous day to 3,859, with hospitalisations inching up to 114, of whom 20 remain in a critical state.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the March death toll remained unchanged at 40, with the total number of Covid-19 victims since the pandemic started revised up at 910.

On Friday morning, the health ministry said five more deaths were attributed to Covid-19, one man and four women aged 66 to 96, who passed between August and October last year.

January was the deadliest month on record with 101, followed by 91 in February, overtaking the previous record of 81 last August.

However, the latest 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 by one from Thursdays’ 113 to 114, with critical cases down two at 20.

Intubated patients remained at eight, while 59% 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 was also revised on Friday and has now risen to 370,311.

A total of 99,636 PCR and rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 3,000 more than the previous day, with 35,300 tests in schools.

Of the 11,676 tests in high schools, 103 were positive, as well as 121 from 19,844 tests in primary schools, while 38 new infections were discovered from the “test to stay” programme for students and teachers.

Infection rate dips below 4%

With a mild increase in the number of tests, and a marginal drop in new cases from 3,951 to 3,859, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ dropped below the 4% benchmark to 3.87%, far from Wednesday’s all-time high of 4.43% and nearly 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, 112 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

New infections in care homes increased to 44 from among 894 tests, while six tested positive from 233 tests in restricted institutions.