COVID19: Five deaths, nearly 3,000 new cases

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Over the past week, Cyprus’ COVID deaths and cases edged up as health authorities reported five more coronavirus victims and 2,789 new infections.

Hospitalisations remained stable at 44, down three from last week, while critical cases increased from two to four.

The Health Ministry said in its weekly Covid report there is only one intubated patient, with COVID-19 fatalities reaching 1,187 since the pandemic started in March 2020.

The latest victims were aged between  80 and 95, three men and two women.

With schools open and universities starting with face-to-face teaching, new Covid cases saw a mild increase from last week’s 2,681 to 2,789.

Two patients, still considered post-Covid, have shaken off the virus but remained intubated and in a serious state, four less from last week.

Coronavirus infections since the pandemic rose to 590,783.

Daily average

The average daily rate of infections increased from 383 to 398 this week.

Testing remained at last week’s levels, reaching 68,015 PCR and rapid antigen tests conducted during the week, 1,400 fewer than before.

Due to the slight rise in infections and test rates, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ was pushed up slightly from  3.96% to 4.1%, still four times higher than the safe infection rate of 1%.

Masks remain mandatory in hospitals, at testing labs and pharmacies.

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

Booster shots

Meanwhile, the European union’s Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides urged Cypriots to come forward for a second booster ahead of the winter months, which could see new waves of COVID-19.

Talking at a high-level conference in Nicosia titled COVID-19: The way forward after the pandemic, Kyriakides said EU states are recording an increase in all indicators stressing “by now we know very well what that means”.

“We also know by now what we need to do.

“Vaccination and boosting remain our strongest assets against the virus.  Our vaccines have saved at least 20 million lives around the globe,” said Kyriakides.

“So, I will repeat my call to all Member States to have robust vaccination strategies in place for the months ahead.”

The commissioner congratulated Cyprus for having an overall adult vaccination rate of 85%.

“We can all do more – focusing on increasing primary vaccinations and coverage for the first and second booster, which is at the moment below 10% of people eligible for it.”

She said the bloc now has access to updated vaccines in the quantities needed for all EU citizens to get protected.

“I urge everyone eligible to come forward for their vaccination.

“We must take action beyond vaccination by reinforcing the capacity of our surveillance systems to monitor the spread of the virus.”