COVID19: 2 deaths, cases climb after relaxation

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Cyprus reported two deaths in the weekly Covid bulletin on Friday, with new cases nearly doubling to 3,470 from 2,207 the week before, as restrictions have been almost lifted and the public is no longer cautious.

The Health Ministry said two elderly people died during the past week and the only two in June so far, an 84 year old woman and a 91 year old man.

The death toll for May remained unchanged at 2, while 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 366, or a third of all 1,070 deaths in Cyprus occurred in the first six months of this year.

Hospitalisations increased slightly within a week from 31 to 34, critical cases dropped to one, with one intubated patient.

A further six patients are still considered post-Covid, one 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 497,454.

497 daily

The past week saw 3,479 new cases, up 1,263 from last week, with the average daily rate leaping from 315 to 497.

A total of 53,416 PCR and rapid antigen tests were conducted during the past week, 5,000 less than the week before, as restrictions were almost completely lifted as of June 1, abolishing the use of masks.

This measure remains only in critical healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and care homes, where a negative rapid test is required to enter, as well as in ‘high congestion’ areas.

With a drop in the number of tests and an increase in new cases, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ almost doubled to 6.5% from 3.77% last week, and six times above the safe limit of 1%.

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

Six soldiers serving in the National Guard tested positive and nine new cases were reported in care homes and none in restricted institutions.