COVID19: Three deaths as cases rise again above 2,000

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Cyprus reported three coronavirus deaths on Monday, with new daily cases rising again to 2,254 after dipping below 2,000 during the weekend, while hospitalisations dropped to 204, on the first day of a widespread relaxation of measures.

Most of the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted with a mask mandate for outdoor facilities scrapped, while a Safe Pass is no longer required for work or shopping.

The Health Ministry said in its Covid bulletin that the latest victims were two women, 82 and 91, and an 84 year old man, raising the April death toll to 26 and 980 to date.

More than a quarter of all deaths occurred in the first three months of this year.

March ended with 65 coronavirus deaths, while January was the deadliest month on record with 101, followed by 92 in February, overtaking the previous record of 83 last August.

The total number of patients admitted in Covid wards in state hospitals decreased by three to 204, having breached the 200-safety barrier the past few days. Of these, 29 were critical, unchanged from the day before.

Intubated patients remained at five, while 57% of hospitalised COVID-19 patients were reported as unvaccinated.

A further 11 patients are still considered post-Covid, three less than the previous day, having recovered from the virus, but remain intubated and in a serious state.

Nearly 460,000 cases to date

Total SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 rose to 459,677.

A total of 83,217 PCR and antigen rapid tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, about 26,000 more than the day before, with 32,500 tests in schools.

Of the 9,962 tests in secondary schools, 40 were positive, and 71 from 18,072  tests in primary schools. A further 37 new infections were identified from the “test to stay” programme for students and teachers, which also includes kindergartens, and five new cases in special schools.

With an increase in tests, as well as new cases from 1,459 to 2,254, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ also rose from 2.53% to 2.71%, down from the record 7.27% two weeks ago but nearly triple the safe limit of 1%.

Of the new infections, 14 were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

A further 55 tested positive in care homes and four new infections were identified in restricted institutions.