Cyprus reported four COVID-19 deaths during the past seven days, two more than last week, with a small increase in new infections and continued drop in hospitalisations.
The health ministry said in its bulletin on Friday that the latest victims were two men and two women aged 77 to 98, raising the death toll since the pandemic started in March 2020 to 1,297.
After five consecutive weeks recording a drop in in new cases, the number increased to 1,516 from 1,355. Of these, 47 were positive in targeted testing in care homes, four in closed institutions and just three in primary, high schools and special schools.
Some 48 COVID patients were in hospital, nine less than last week, while 11 were in a critical state, down by one.
Six 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 above 200
Coronavirus infections since the pandemic started rose to 647,031.
The average daily rate of infections increased to 216 from 193 last week.
Testing was marginally lower than last week’s level, reaching 64,876 PCR and rapid antigen tests, about 2,500 more than before.
These two factors prompted the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ to continue to increase slightly to 2.34% from 2.17% last week and 5.13% more than a month ago. The infection rate remains more than twice 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.