Coronavirus on the island is showing “a clear upward trend”, the government’s weekly report said on Friday.

The report covered the period from March 24 to April 6, with epidemiologists reporting that as cases increased there was a fall in the average age of people testing positive, and for those admitted to hospital.

The new data means that Cyprus remains in the ECDC’s ‘dark red’ zone, as its 14-day cumulative Covid-19 diagnosis rate exceeds 500, and was 621.1.

The increased infection rate has been attributed to the UK variant B.1.1.7 of the virus which is said to be 70 per cent more infectious than other variants.

During the period, 5,515 coronavirus cases were diagnosed from 61,761 PCR and 637,220 rapid antigen tests, meaning the 14-day cumulative diagnosis rate of 621.1 per 100,000 was increase on the 548.5 the previous period.

The data showed that 98.6 per cent of cases, 5,436, were local infections, with only 79, representing 1.4 per cent, being imported.

A clear concentration of cases was reported in Limassol and Nicosia with the majority, 2,234 cases representing 40.5 per cent of the total, again detected in Limassol. Nicosia followed with 1,816 cases (32.9 per cent), Larnaca with 828 (15 per cent), Paphos with 343 (6.2 per cent) and Famagusta with 173 (3.1 per cent).

An additional 121 positive cases (2.2 per cent) resided either in the British bases or abroad, with no available data for one case.

Limassol’s cumulative diagnosis rate has started a small downward course, falling from 978.7 per 100,000 residents to 899.7/100,000 in the 14 days the report covers, with Covid-19 concentrations in sewage water starting to decrease for the first time. However, the ministry pointed out, numbers remain at highly unsafe limits.

At the same time, the cumulative diagnosis rate in Nicosia and Larnaca showed a significant increase, rising from 358/100,000 to 524.2 /100,000 in Nicosia and from 404.7/100,000 to 555.7/100,000 in Larnaca.

By age group, cases included 1,176 infants, children and adolescents aged 0-19 years-old (21.3 per cent), 3,594 adults aged 20-59 years (65.2 per cent), 744 people aged 60 years and older (13.5 per cent) while data was not available for one case.

The median age for new cases was 34.

According to the report, all districts marked an increase in their positivity rates, ranging between 0.2 and 0.4 per cent, with an islandwide increase from 0.6 to 0.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate at nursing homes marked a slight increase from 0.2 to 0.3 per cent after stabilising over the first three months of 2021 as a result of vaccinations.

The ministry reported a slight pressure on ICU units as hospital admissions remain high, with almost half of the patients coming from Limassol and an increase in hospitalisations from Nicosia and Larnaca.

The majority of newer patients are under 60, while the average number of admissions in people between 70 and 74 has fallen.

As of April 8, there were 208 people in hospital, with a median age of 63. A hundred and twenty-seven have comorbidities, while 47.6 per cent of patients come from the Limassol district, according to the report.

Out of those in hospital, 29 were in the ICU with an average age of 66. The majority, 20, are men. Twenty patients in the ICU have pre-existing health conditions and 23 are intubated.

As of April 6, the death toll for the whole of Cyprus was at 268, with Limassol presenting the highest percentage of 36.2 deaths per 100,000 residents.

A hundred of those who have died so far were Limassol residents (37.7 per cent), 91 from Nicosia (34 per cent), 44 from Larnaca (16.4 per cent), 19 from Paphos (7.1 per cent), 11 from Famagusta (4.1 per cent) and three (1.1 per cent) reported either resided in the British bases or abroad, with data not available for one.