The health ministry announced 928 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday out of 72,874 PCR and rapid tests, a positivity rate of 1.27 per cent.

No deaths from the virus were reported, but hospitalisations have risen to 203 with 54 patients in serious condition. Twenty of these are intubated and a further 34 are in ICUs.

The ministry said that 90.2 per cent of those in hospital have no history of vaccination.

Of the 72,874 diagnoses carried out, 7,032 were by the molecular method (PCR) and 65,842 by the antigen rapid test.

The 928 new cases were identified mostly from the government’s rapid testing programme with some 607 positive results. A further 218 cases were detected from 4,159 samples taken through private initiative. Seventy-five cases were detected from 3,435 rapid tests at private clinical laboratories and pharmacies. Twelve cases were detected as part of a passenger check at Larnaca and Paphos airports.

In Nicosia under the rapid testing programme 22,016 tests yielded 180 positive cases, a positivity rate of 0.82 per cent. In Limassol 14,215 tests detected 182 cases (1.31 per cent); in Larnaca 9,859 tests identified 101 cases (1.02 per cent); Paphos 8,445 tests identified 79 cases (0.94 per cent) and in Famagusta 7,390 tests detected 63 case (0.85 per cent)