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Cyprus no longer Covid ‘deep red’

Cyprus no longer Covid ‘deep red’

Cyprus’ cumulative diagnosis rate for Covid-19 fell to below 500 per 100,000 residents, reflecting the improved epidemiological picture of recent days, the health ministry’s weekly report showed on Friday.

The better figures move Cyprus from the dark red to the red category in accordance with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) categorisation.

As daily coronavirus cases dropped to double digits on Thursday for the first time in months, experts said the cumulative diagnosis rate between May 5 and May 18 fell to 431.6 from 689.3 per 100,000 residents.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou tweeted early on Friday saying “the results of the last few days are rewarding the efforts of many people in the front line and the sacrifices of the residents.”

This puts Cyprus in the red category based on the ECDC and a few steps closer to the goal of being in UK’s green travel list, one of the main tourist markets for the island.

Red countries are declared if the 14-day cumulative Covid-19 case notification rate is above 150 but below 500 or if the 14-day cumulative Covid-19 case notification rate ranges from 50 to 150 and the test positivity rate of tests for Covid-19 infection is 4 per cent or more, ECDC’s website says.

The cumulative diagnosis rate in all districts is less than 500/100,000 apart from Famagusta which is at 546, a drop from 768,9 per 100,000 population.

The lowest rate was recorded in Paphos with 294.5 from 507.3 per 100,000 residents, followed by Larnaca with 394.6 per 100,000. Nicosia’s diagnosis rate in the last 14 days dropped to 407.6 from 657.8 per 100,000 and Limassol’s at 407.6 from 683.9 per 100,000 population.

During the same period, 3,833 cases were diagnosed from 95,957 PCR and 861,805 rapid antigen tests.

The cases included 2,590 adults aged 20 to 59, while only 488 people aged 60 and older, who were prioritised in the vaccination plan, tested positive in the last 14 days.

About one third of the cases (1,265) reported no symptoms before they tested positive.

The drop in the number cases kept Cyprus’ positivity rate from rapid tests to 0.2 per cent, similar to last week, the report said.

The positivity rate in nursing homes also remains at less than 0.1 per cent, it was added.

Hospitalisations nationwide dropped to 164 as of May 18 with the median age at 63 years. The patients include 35 people in the ICU, out of which 21 have pre-existing health issues.

The median age of people who died from Covid-19 dropped to 77 this year from 82 years in 2020.

Cyprus saw 350 people dying from the virus, from a total of 70,141 cases diagnosed as of May 18.

To maintain the good epidemiological data, the health ministry said targeted testing, vaccinations and protection measures were necessary.

“Despite the good data, the need for monitoring of epidemiological indicators remains,” the health ministry said in a written statement including the vaccination coverage process later in the day.

With a total of 490,456 vaccine doses administered nationwide as of Thursday, 137,288 people have completed their vaccination, translating to 18.6 per cent of the population eligible to receive the vaccine.

The ministry reiterated that vaccinated people must keep abiding by personal hygiene and protective measures, including the mandatory face mask, and socialising within the same circles (social bubbles) to prevent the spread of the virus.

People were urged to take advantage of the free testing programme provided by the state, citing the danger after relaxations.

Cyprus is first in coronavirus testing among EU member states with an average of 43,417 tests per 100,000 population.

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