The health ministry on Friday announced 6,863 new coronavirus infections in the past week and a positivity rate of 7.21 per cent, a significant improvement on last week’s 10,152 cases and 9.14 per cent positivity rate.

There was also a further drop in the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients to 76 from 104.

The health ministry also announced 16 deaths from coronavirus. Nine occurred in the past week, two on July 21 and the remaining five between January and May this year. The ages of the deceased range from 63 to 100. Eight were women and eight men.

The new figures bring the total number of deaths from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic to 1,115.

There are currently 76 coronavirus patients in state hospitals, seven of them in serious condition. Three are on the ventilator. And another three patients who are no longer infectious remain intubated in the ICU.

The ministry said that a total of 95,172 tests were carried out between July 22 and 28, with 6,863 new infections detected, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 562,911. Of the tests, 4,175 were PCR tests and the remainder rapid tests.

A total of 3,543 PCR tests and 68,6000 rapid tests were carried out by private initiative, leading to the detection of 459 and 5,797 infections.

And 22,397 rapid tests were carried out under the health ministry’s programme, resulting in 500 positive cases.

There were 302 tests in the national guard with 17 infections detected, 5,284 in care homes with 103 positive cases and 2,886 in closed facilities with 19 infections.