Recent weeks have witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases across Cyprus, according to head of the epidemiological surveillance and control of infectious diseases unit, Christos Charalambous.

Charalambous reported that 995 new cases were registered between November 24 and 30.

While acknowledging the upturn in the number of cases, Charalambous attributed the increase to the onset of winter.

While advising caution amidst the escalating numbers, he recommended vaccination as a preventive measure against Covid-19 and influenza, especially for vulnerable groups.

Highlighting regional disparities, Charalambous also noted a significantly higher cumulative impact in the Nicosia district compared to others, registering 58.3 per cent of new cases.

Most new cases concentrated within the 40-44 (9.7 per cent) and 55-59 (9.4 per cent) age brackets, with a cumulative incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants spiking by 29.1 per cent compared to the week of November 17 to 23.

Moreover, concerning molecular PCR and rapid tests, a total of 25,074 tests were conducted from November 24 to 30, yielding a 4 per cent positivity rate, compared to 25,253 tests and a 2.8 per cent positivity rate in the week spanning from November 17 to 23.

Higher positivity rates were notably observed in age groups 85 and above (9.4 per cent) and 0-3 years (8.1 per cent).

There were also 26 new hospitalisations from November 24 to 30, compared to 13 new admissions registered the previous week. However, no new admissions to intensive care units were reported.

Charalambous also highlighted a slight increase in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections from the previous week, stressing the need of adhering to preventive measures during the winter season when such infections typically rise.

He also underlined the importance of basic preventive measures such as regular handwashing, avoiding close contact, proper ventilation, and mask-wearing, particularly for those at higher risk.

Lastly, Charalambous advised self-isolation for those who test positive and urged individuals with an elevated risk of severe illness to minimise their contact with others.