The health ministry announced six deaths from Covid-19 and 324 new positive cases on Friday, while there are 159 in hospitals.

Those who died were all men while one of them, aged 89, died on August 26 and the other five, aged 42, 43, 46, 65 and 87 died on Friday. The deaths raise the toll from Covid-19 to 496, of which 65 per cent are men.

Of the 159 Covid-19 patients, 66 are in serious condition. Of the 66, there are 25 who are intubated, seven who are in ICU without a respirator while another 36 are in a high dependency unit.

Meanwhile, five post-Covid patients remain intubated in intensive care wards.

The 324 positives resulted in a positivity rate of 0.94 per cent.

A total of 34,487 tests were carried out on Friday with rapid tests accounting for 28,426 and PCR tests another 6,061.

A total of 14,483 rapid tests taken privately returned 150 positives while the government’s free testing programme (14,043) identified a further 51 positives.

The PCR tests identified the following: 41 positives from 298 contact tracing tests, 13 from 2,750 airport tests, 55 from 2,740 tests taken privately, and 14 from 218 tests taken at hospitals.

The breakdown of positives per district, as identified by the health ministry’s rapid tests, showed that Nicosia had the most positives with 17 but also by far the highest number of tests with 6,223.

Next was Limassol’s 14 positives from 2,886 tests, followed by Larnaca’s seven positives from 1,556 tests, Famagusta’s five positives from 1,169 tests and, finally, Paphos’ four positive from 1,105 tests.

No one tested positive from tests carried out at care homes.