Cyprus reported four deaths in its weekly Covid bulletin on Friday, as new cases continued to rise to 14,914 during the week from 10,879 and double from mid-June, with hospitalisations nearly doubling, following the removal of almost all restrictions a month ago.
This prompted the government to re-introduce some restrictions, such as use of masks in all closed spaces as of Friday, with epidemiologists saying the situation is not worrisome yet as the number of critical cases is still contained at relatively low levels.
The total of all coronavirus infection cases since the pandemic started rose to 530,510.
The Health Ministry said the latest victims of the pandemic were men, aged 69 to 92, raising the to-date toll to 1,079.
Complacency had kicked in, with the June death toll limited to six.
The death toll for May was 23, while April’s figure 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 84 last August.
Some 374, or 35% of all deaths in Cyprus occurred in the first half of this year.
Hospitalisations once again increased significantly within a week from 75 to 97, critical cases doubled to eight, with one intubated patient.
A further three patients are still considered post-Covid, one more from the week before, having recovered from the virus but remaining intubated and in a serious state.
Average daily 2,130
The past week saw 14,914 new cases, up 4,035 from last week, with the average daily up by 30% from 1,554 to 2,130.
Testing increased with a total of 111,137 PCR and rapid antigen tests were conducted during the past week, 18,000 more than the week before.
With a significant increase in the number of tests, as well as in new cases, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ spiked to a new year-high of 13.42% from 11.62% last week and 9.77% the week before, nearly 14 times above the safe limit of 1%.
Of the new Covid cases, five were identified through contact tracing linked to earlier infections.
With new recruits showing up for duty this week, 27 soldiers serving in the National Guard tested positive and 47 new cases were reported in care homes, as well as 34 in restricted institutions.