Coronavirus cases started showing a decline, but the disease burden remains high, the health ministry’s epidemiological report showed on Friday.

According to the report, prepared by state experts, 46,487 coronavirus cases were detected from 132,832 PCR and 1,538,625 rapid tests in the 14 days starting from January 4, with a cumulative diagnosis rate of 5,235 per 100,000 population.

This was higher than the previous report issued two weeks ago, which showed the cumulative diagnosis rate stood at 3,199.8 per 100,000 people, when 28,414 cases were detected after 1,445,692 tests.

But commenting on the drop recorded in the daily number of coronavirus cases, health ministry spokeswoman Alexandra Phasaria said “we are seeing the start of a decline in the number of diagnoses” across all ages and districts, while it appears hospitalisations have spiked.

“The disease burden in the community and the pressure on the health system remain high,” Phasaria added.

The report showed the median age of cases for the period was 32. Women attributed to a slightly higher percentage, 51.7 per cent, with men accounting for 48.3 per cent of the new cases.

Most new cases, 65.6 per cent, concerned people aged 20 to 59, while children and teenagers up to the age of 19 accounted for about 24 per cent of the cases. Another one tenth of cases concerned those aged 60 and older.

The report said district information was available for just 81.4 per cent of the cases, of which half, 40 per cent, were detected in Nicosia, 28.5 per cent in Limassol, 16.3 per cent in Larnaca, 9.4 per cent in Paphos, 5.7 per cent in Famagusta while 36 cases had residency abroad.

As of January 19, some 263 people were hospitalised with coronavirus, of whom 44 were being treated in the ICU. The median age of hospitalised patients is 66 years.

Despite women accounting for slightly more cases, more men are hospitalised for coronavirus, the report showed. It added that information was not available for 40 patients.

A total of 132 out of the 223 patients with available information, are men, while the rest 91 were women.

Since the pandemic outbreak, 700 deaths attributed to the virus were recorded of whom 440 were men.

Half of deaths concerned people aged 69 to 85 and most, 242 were recorded in Limassol, followed by Nicosia with 214, Larnaca with 130, Paphos with 64, Famagusta with 40. Seven deaths did not have information available as to the residency while three concerned people living abroad.

Between January 1, 2021 and January 20, 2022, 436 of the 571 people who died were unvaccinated, state experts wrote while 48 were fully vaccinated and 39 were fully vaccinated but more than 5 months and two weeks had passed since the latest dose.

Four people who died from the virus had received the booster dose at least 14 days prior to contracting Covid-19.

Another two more people who died had received the booster dose less than 14 days prior to contracting the virus while 42 were vaccinated with one dose.