COVID19: Two deaths, drop in cases, patients

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Cyprus reported two COVID-19 deaths during the past seven days, two fewer than last week, with a continued drop in new infections and hospitalisations.

With the nation headed to a second conclusive election on Sunday, the health ministry said measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 remain in place.

It is recommended that rooms are adequately ventilated, while staff and representatives of the candidates must wear a protective mask throughout their stay at the polling station.

Face masks are recommended for all voters inside the polling stations.

It is also noted that voting booths will not have a curtain, and it will be the responsibility of the polling station staff to disinfect them regularly and all surfaces that people come in contact with, including pens.

The health ministry said in its bulletin on Friday that the latest victims were a 78 year old man and a 96 year old woman, raising the death toll since the pandemic started in March 2020 to 1,293.

New cases dropped for the fifth consecutive week to 1,355 from 1,497 last week and half of 2,667 a month ago. Of these, 45 were positive in targeted testing in care homes, 13 in closed institutions and nine in primary and high schools.

Some 57 COVID patients were in hospital, eight less than last week, while 12 were in a critical state, down by one.

Seven patients remained intubated in an ICU, one less than last week, while five more were being treated in an Acute Care Unit, unchanged from a week ago.

Daily average drops below 200

Coronavirus infections since the pandemic started rose to 645,515.

The average daily rate of infections dropped significantly to 193 from 213 last week.

Testing was marginally lower than last week’s level, reaching 62,357 PCR and rapid antigen tests, about 2,000 less than before.

These two factors prompted the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ to continue to improve and dropped further to 2.17%, down from last week’s 2.33%, and 5.13% a month ago. The infection rate is now just above two times higher than the safe rate of 1%.

Masks remain mandatory in hospitals, testing labs and pharmacies.

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