COVID19: Four deaths as infection rate gallops

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Cyprus reported four coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, as new cases inched up to 4,704 after spiralling to a near-record 5,286 on Monday, pushing the infection rate to a new high of 5.6%, with official data showing that two thirds of reinfections involve people who had not been vaccinated.

A report presented before scientists advising the government on handling the coronavirus pandemic showed that 16,064 people have been infected with COVID-19 more than once, with the vast majority being reinfected in the current year.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that hospitalisations crawled up to 153, with the number of critical patients dropping slightly to 23.

The latest victims were three women aged 72 to 89, and a 70 year old man, raising the March death toll to 52, with the total number of Covid-19 victims since the pandemic started at 922.

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

The number of patients being treated in state hospitals rose for the fifth day in a row, up by two to 153, with three fewer critical cases, dropping to 23.

Intubated patients remained unchanged at seven, while 52% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

Some 21 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 rose to 392,019.

Fewer tests in schools

A total of 83,366 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 11,000 less than the previous day, with 17,700 tests in schools.

Of the 10,149 tests in high schools, 97 were positive, as well as 95 new infections from the “test to stay” programme for students and teachers. There were no tests in primary schools.

With a decrease in the number of tests, and a marginal increase in cases from 4,673 to 4,704, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ shot up to a new record 5.64% from 4.92% the day before, nearly six times above the safe marker of 1%.

Of the new infections, 206 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

There were 38 new infections in care homes from 1,559 tests, while 11 of 2,219 tests in restricted institutions were positive.