COVID19: Death toll rises, cases stabilise

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Cyprus’ COVID death toll went up by another 16 deaths, eight of which were recorded in the past seven days, the highest since July.

COVID-19 fatalities have now reached a total of 1,168 since the pandemic started in March 2020.

New COVID cases remained at the same level as last week, increasing to 2,154 from 2,130.

In their weekly bulletin, health authorities reported another five deaths recorded earlier in the month and three more between April and June this year.

The Health Ministry said the new deaths involved older people aged between 65 and 99, seven women and nine men.

Hospitalisations this week dropped to 57 from 73 a week ago.

Critical cases rose by six to nine, with five intubated patients and four in an Acute Care Unit.

Two patients, still considered post-Covid, have shaken off the virus but remain intubated and in a serious state.

Coronavirus infections since the pandemic rose to 576,278– over half the population.

There were 2,154 new cases, with the average daily rate at 307.

Testing picked up as people returned from their holidays, reaching 60, 841 PCR and rapid antigen tests conducted during the week, 13,000 more than before.

The benchmark ‘positivity rate’ fell to 3.54% from 4.48%, largely due to more tests being carried out in the community.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela on Friday will receive the recommendations of experts advising authorities on the COVID-19 roadmap ahead of schools opening next month.

Hadjipantela will again meet scientists next Tuesday for proposals to be tabled before the cabinet the next day.

The Health Ministry requires students and teachers returning to school in two weeks to get tested beforehand, providing experts with an opportunity to assess how widespread the virus is ahead of autumn.

Authorities are also expected to decide whether reintroducing free testing sites is necessary.

Free government testing sites are only available at state hospitals for visitors.