About 3,000 coronavirus cases have been traced in the past seven days while another five deaths were announced by the health ministry on Friday.

A day before Christmas Eve, the weekly health ministry’s report showed that 2,947 new infections were detected from 67,962 tests, a positivity rate of 4.34 per cent.

Three deaths were also recorded during the period from December 16 to 22, while two fatalities recorded earlier this year were added to the total number of deaths attributed to the virus. These concerned a 61-year-old man who died on October 13, 2021 and a 91-year-old woman who died on December 14 this year.

As regards hospitalised cases, the ministry said there were 73 patients with coronavirus in state hospitals, of whom 11 were in serious conditions. Three of them were intubated.

Two more patients who stopped being infectious also remain intubated in the ICU due to Covid-19.

Most new infections were traced through a rapid test, while a higher positivity rate was recorded for the fewer PCR tests carried out. Specifically, 2,736 infections were detected after 65,977 rapids, a positivity rate of 4.15 per cent, and the remaining 211 cases were traced from 1,985 resulting to a positivity rate of 10.63 per cent.

Some 51 new cases concerned nursing homes and another ten were traced in 24/7 structures.