COVID19: Slowdown in deaths, cases

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Cyprus saw a slowdown in COVID-19 deaths, infections, and stabilisation of hospitalisations, as the Health Ministry reported another two victims.

The two deaths reported by health authorities on Friday were significantly lower than the nine reported last week.

The Health Ministry reported 30 deaths in the previous four weeks, with experts extending an urgent plea to people over 60 to get a second booster.

In its weekly COVID report, the ministry said the two latest victims were aged 92 and 93, both men.

The ministry has also adjusted the death toll to include three more fatalities in October last year, raising the total number of fatalities since the pandemic started in March 2020 to 1,242.

New cases dropped slightly to 3,854 from 4,011 and 4,214 the week before.

Some 94 COVID patients were in hospital, one more from last week, while eleven were in a critical state, up by one.

Three patients remained intubated in an ICU, while eight were treated in an Acute Care Unit.

Earlier in the week, the State Health Services Organisation (OKYPY) warned that the country’s hospitals are under strain from the increasing number of people needing hospitalisation after catching COVID or other seasonal viruses.

According to the latest data, take-up on the second booster vaccination has been lower than expected, with only 25.6% over 60 getting the fourth jab and 4.4% have had a fifth shot.

People over 30 who have had a second booster are just 8%.

Bivalent mRNA vaccines, covering the Omicron variant and its BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, are available as a second booster at vaccination stations.

Daily average drops

Coronavirus infections since the pandemic rose to 622,102.

The average daily rate of infections dropped to 550 from 573 last week.

Testing was slightly lower, reaching 70,518 PCR and rapid antigen tests, about 2,000 less than before.

The benchmark ‘positivity rate’ dropped slightly to 5.43% from 5.52%, still more than five times higher than the safe infection rate of 1%.

Masks remain mandatory in hospitals, testing labs and pharmacies.

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