COVID19: Four deaths, drop in cases

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Cyprus reported four COVID-19 deaths on Friday, two fewer than last week, with a significant drop in new infections and a stable number of hospitalisations.

The health ministry said in its weekly Covid bulletin that the latest victims were three men and a woman, aged 78 to 94, raising the death toll since the pandemic started three years ago in March 2020 to 1,345.

The number of new cases dropped to 1,047, down from 1,281 last week and 1,701 the week before.

The average daily rate of infections remained below 200 for the second consecutive week and dropped to 150 from 183 the week before.

Coronavirus infections since the pandemic started rose to 654,714.

Two critical

The number of hospitalisations was stable, up by one from last week to 42. Of these, two were in a critical state, eight less from last week.

Testing was lower than last week’s level, reaching 57,858 PCR and rapid antigen tests, about 3,500 fewer than before.

These two factors prompted the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ to drop below the 2% level to 1.81%, down from 2.09% last week. The infection rate remains just below 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.