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Coronavirus: Cyprus back in red category as new cases surge (updated)

Υπουργείο Υγείας – Πρόγραμμα ελέγ

The average age of new coronavirus cases is 23, the health ministry said, as a spike in infections has pushed Cyprus back into the red category of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Following a surge in coronavirus cases that started late in June, the health ministry said it detected 2,323 cases between June 16 and 29, with the cumulative diagnosis rate at 261.6 per 100,000 residents. The data were reported in the bimonthly epidemiological report on Friday, which said the cases detected from 90,104 PCR and 431,326 rapid antigen tests.

This places Cyprus in the red category, with the health ministry warning that cases are approaching the dark red category.

Countries are listed red if the 14-day cumulative rate ranges from 75 to 200 and the coronavirus test positivity rate is 4 per cent or more, or if the 14-day cumulative diagnosis rate is more than 200 but less than 500.

Moreover, the ECDC categorises countries as dark red if the 14-day cumulative Covid-19 cumulative diagnoses rate is 500 or more.

The drop in the average age of people testing positive was attributed to the “low vaccination coverage in the under 40s and the lack of compliance [to coronavirus measures] in the places where people of these ages socialise”.

Infants and children under 19-years-old accounted for 36.9 per cent of the new cases, with a 14-day cumulative diagnosis rate at 445.8 per 100,000 population. The majority, 58 per cent of the cases concerned adults aged between 20 to 59, with the diagnosis rate at 268.6 per 100,000 people, the report revealed.

The ministry said that cases are low in older age groups, “due to vaccinations”, with less than ten per cent of people aged 40 and over being sick with coronavirus.

Concerning the 70 to 79 age group, where the vaccination coverage is at 92 per cent, only 1.7 per cent have tested positive, while 0.4 per cent of those aged 80 and older, where the vaccination rate is 92.2 per cent have coronavirus. The cumulative rate is at 58.7 per cent for the 70-79 age group and at 26.9 for those aged 80 and over.

Most cases, 32.7 per cent were reported in Nicosia, 26.4 per cent in Limassol, 19.8 per cent in Famagusta, and 13.1 per cent in Larnaca. Paphos, which ranks first among all districts as regards to vaccination coverage, with 73.8 per cent of residents having received an anti-Covid jab, attributed for 4.6 per cent of the cases. Another 3.4 positive cases were reported either in the British bases or had residency abroad.

The report showed that only 9 per cent, or 209 cases concerned people who came from abroad.

As always, a significant percentage, counting 24.9 per cent did not report any symptoms at diagnosis.

Meanwhile, 62 people were hospitalised as of June 30 with a median age of 56 years and eight patients in the ICU. No deaths were reported over the 14-day period examined in the report.

In June, the nationwide mortality rate dropped by 72 per cent in relation to the previous month, the ministry said.

However, the median age of deaths was reduced to 77 years in 2021, from 82 last year.

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