COVID19: Death toll, new cases slow down

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Cyprus reported six deaths in the weekly Covid bulletin on Friday, raising the death toll since the pandemic started to 1,057, with new cases dropping to 2,103, about 300 less than the week before.

The Health Ministry said the latest victims in the week up to Thursday were three men and three women, aged 65 to 94, raising the total for May to 15.

April’s death toll was 75, just ahead of 67 in March. January remained the deadliest month on record with 101 deaths, followed by 96 in February, overtaking the previous record of 83 last August.

Some 354, or a third of all deaths occurred in the first five months of this year.

Hospitalisations continued to drop within a week from 45 to 42, critical cases increased from six to nine, while intubated patients were up by two, to four.

A further 11 patients are still considered post-Covid, four less than the week before, having recovered from the virus but remaining intubated and in a serious state.

Total SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 rose to 488,189.

300 daily

The past week saw 2,103 new cases, down from 2,422 last week, with the average daily rate dropping further to 300 from 346.

A total of 123,569 PCR and rapid antigen tests were conducted during the past week, half of those tested a week earlier, as further restrictions are relaxed and tests are mandatory in fewer places. Daily state-funded testing has also been scrapped and this only takes place on weekends.

Of the 2,710 tests in secondary schools, no new cases were found, with seven new cases from 9,977 tests in primary schools.

No new infections were identified from the “test to stay” programme for students and teachers, including kindergartens, while there were no new cases in special schools for the third week in a row.

With a significant drop in tests and a slower rate of new cases, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ rose to 1.7% from 0.97% from last week, and above the safe limit of 1%.

Of the new Covid cases, seven were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.

A further 44 tested positive in care homes, with two positive cases in restricted institutions and one soldier serving in the National Guard.