COVID19: Record 6,500 new cases, more patients

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Cyprus reported a record 6,494 coronavirus cases and three deaths on Monday, with hospitalisations increasing for the tenth day in a row to 190, and the national infection rate remaining above the 5% marker.

New daily Covid-19 cases skyrocketed to a thousand more than the previous record 5,457 on January 4, with experts at the time saying it was driven mainly by the arrival of the highly transmitted Omicron variant.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims of the pandemic were two men aged 80 and 90, and a 77 year old woman, raising the March death toll to 60, and the total number of Covid-19 victims to 930.

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 tenth consecutive day to 190 from Sunday’s 173, closing in on the hospitalisations’ safety level of 200, with critical cases rising by three to 21.

Intubated patients increased to four, while 57% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

A further 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 416,514.

33,000 tests in schools

A total of 115,930 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 33,000 more than the day before, due to testing resuming in schools, with a total of 33,000.

Of the 10,004 tests in high schools, 105 were positive, with 212 new cases from 17,257 tests in primary schools. A further 160 new infections were identified from the “test to stay” programme for students and teachers, which now also includes kindergartens.

With an increase in the number of tests, and a spike in new cases from 4,314 to 6,494, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ rose again from 5.22% to 5.6%, down from Saturday’s 6.27% and Friday’s record 7.27%.

Of the new infections, 127 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

There were 61 new infections in care homes from 2,055 tests, and three positive cases among 349 tests in restricted institutions.