COVID19: March ends with 65 deaths, fewer cases

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March ended with 65 coronavirus deaths in Cyprus, after two men, aged 62 and 85, died on Thursday, with new daily cases dropping further to 4,349, down from Monday’s record 6,494, while hospitalisations rose again to 195 from 182.

The health ministry said in its Covid bulletin that critical cases were unchanged at 25, while the total number of Covid-19 victims increased to 935, more than a quarter of whom died in the first three months of this year.

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

Intubated patients rose to seven, while 52% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

A further 13 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 430,726.

A total 96,116 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 13,000 more than the day before, with 32,600 tests in schools prior to the April 1 national holiday and long weekend.

Of the 9,835 tests in high schools, 63 were positive, and 134 from 17,130 tests in primary schools, while 60 new infections identified from the “test to stay” programme for students and teachers, which also includes kindergartens.

With an increase in the number of tests, and a small drop in new cases from 4,774 to 4,349, Thursday’s benchmark ‘positivity rate’ dropped from 5.72% to 4.52%, down from Saturday’s 6.27% and Friday’s record 7.27%, and more than four times above the safe marker of 1%.

Of the new infections, 142 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

There were 34 new infections in care homes from 1,386 tests, and three positive cases among 337 tests in restricted institutions.