COVID19: Five deaths, drop in hospitalisations

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Cyprus reported five COVID-19 deaths on Friday, one more than last week, with an increase in new infections and a drop in hospitalisations from a fortnight ago.

The health ministry said in its weekly bulletin that the latest victims were two men and two women aged 81 to 96, as well as a 49 year old man, raising the death toll since the pandemic started three years ago in March 2020 to 1,335.

The number of new cases increased to 1,701 from 1,592 last week. Of these, 35 were positive in targeted testing in care homes and four in closed institutions.

No new cases were reported from testing in primary, high schools and special schools.

The number of hospitalisations dropped to 44, of whom 9 were in a critical state. This is down from 48 and 12, respectively, two weeks ago, as the health ministry said last week that a systems failure prevented the calculation of the number of hospitalisations.

Daily average at 243

Coronavirus infections since the pandemic started rose to 652,386.

The average daily rate of infections remained below 300 and rose to 243 from 227 the week before.

Testing was significantly above last week’s level, reaching 59,293 PCR and rapid antigen tests, about 6,500 more than before.

These two factors prompted the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ to drop to 2.87%, down from 3.01% last week. The infection rate remains almost three 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.