Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

COVID19: 2 deaths, patient numbers steady

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Cyprus reported two coronaviru­s deaths during the past week on Friday, as hospitalis­ations stabilised at 47, down four from last week, while critical cases were limited at just two.

The Health Ministry said in its weekly Covid report that there is only one intubated patient, with COVID-19 fatalities reaching a total of 1,182 since the pandemic started in March 2020. The latest victims were two men aged 63 and 79.

With all schools in full swing and testing on the rise, new Covid cases saw a mild decline from last week’s 2,932 to 2,681. One patient, still considered post-Covid, has shaken off the virus but remained intubated and in a serious state, four less from last week.

Coronaviru­s infections since the pandemic rose to 587,994. The average daily rate of infections from to 383 from 419 last week.

Testing remained at last week’s levels as schools continue to require weekly passes, reaching 65,288 PCR and rapid antigen tests conducted during the week, 1,400 fewer than before.

Due to the drop in infections and test rates, the benchmark ‘positivity rate’ corrected slightly from 4.40% to 3.96%, nearly four times higher than the safe infection rate of 1%. Masks remain mandatory in hospitals, at testing labs and pharmacies.

Updated boosters for over 30s

Cyprus has lowered the age limit for administra­ting an updated second COVID-19 booster to cover everyone over 30, the Health Ministry announced.

From Monday, people over 30 will be eligible to receive a dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine covering the Omicron variant and its BA4 and BA5 subvariant­s.

In comments to CyBC, the Chief Health Officer, Dr Elisavet Constantin­ou, said authoritie­s are vaccinatin­g 220 people a day using updated COVID-19 vaccines.

Constantin­ou confirmed that authoritie­s were contemplat­ing introducin­g the fifth dose for people who have already had the fourth shot, using older versions of COVID vaccines, more than five months ago.

She said that health authoritie­s had received a relevant recommenda­tion from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is being evaluated by the national scientific committee for vaccines.

Constantin­ou said she expected the body to recommend a third booster shot (fifth jab) by the end of October. Receiving a third or fourth dose is optional.

Bivalent booster shots are available to people aged 30 and over, people working in healthcare and closed structures, such as nursing homes, regardless of age, and pregnant women. It is also administer­ed to people with chronic ailments such as severe heart and vascular disease, kidney disease, liver disease and neurologic­al diseases.

People over 12 years with diabetes mellitus, severe obesity and metabolic syndrome are eligible for an updated shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Five months must have passed since the third dose. Health authoritie­s rolled out a second booster shot campaign for vulnerable groups back in March, approving the use of updated COVID-19 vaccines earlier this month.

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