Next Thursday, the next relaxations that the government will adopt from March 1 will be locked before the Council of Ministers. The previous day, the Minister of Health Konstantinos Ioannou together with the members of the epidemiological team and the technical committee will go to the Presidential Palace, where they will first inform the President of the Republic Nikos Anastasiadis and then will hold a new meeting in the presence of political leaders.
March 16 the focus
The members of the epidemiological team will wait until the last minute to evaluate the epidemiological data and submit their proposals, at the center of which is the issue of schools and restaurants. Regarding the issue of schools, according to what Professor Dr. Petros Karagiannis stated, with the data so far, all students could return to schools. However, due to the danger and uncertainty that prevails due to the mutations, the most common scenario is for the students of the first and second year of high school to return to their desks from March 1 and the high school students after two weeks. Within the first fortnight, the restaurants seem to be opening, with the Minister of Health stating in his statements on the state channel that new, stricter protocols are being examined. Sources tell “P” that due to the carnival period, there was a proposal before epidemiologists for the opening of restaurants from March 1. This proposal, however, is not approved, with epidemiologists proposing the reopening of the sites in mid-March. At the same time, from the point of view of the technical committee, there is a proposal for the restaurants to be reactivated from March 16, since the 15th of the month is Shrove Monday.
In order to detect as many cases as possible and to keep the spread of the virus at low levels, the sampling points for rapid tests operating in the province of Limassol have increased in the last week, while the tracking of cases has been extended to their secondary contacts. . As for the test positive rate, it is low and has a downward trend. According to the program of rapid tests of the Ministry of Health, Limassol remains at a higher rate compared to other provinces (about 0.5%), but without recording an increase.
Half a million tests
In the last 14 days, 27,674 molecular tests (PCR) and 402,572 rapid antigen detection tests have been performed, resulting in 1,459 new cases. More than 60% of the cases diagnosed in the last 14 days had a place of residence in the province of Limassol, 66% of the cases reported at least one symptom, while 25% concerned people who have at least one underlying disease.
The epidemiological picture of the country may be gradually improving, but based on the data from yesterday's national report, the epidemiological burden still exists in the province of Limassol, with the cumulative impact for the whole country remaining above the limit. Across Cyprus, the cumulative incidence is 164.3 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, a slight decrease compared to the previous week which was 173 / 100,000. Individually, all the provinces have a significant reduction in their cumulative impact, except in Limassol where the cumulative impact remains aggravated with a small increase and well above the safety limit. In Limassol the cumulative impact is 390.7 / 100,000, while last week it was 336.3 / 100,000. Were it not for the burden in Limassol, the epidemiological picture of Cyprus would have been better and the country could have been described as “green” according to the ECDC indicators. This would make a decisive contribution to the faster lifting of more restrictive measures.
Reduction in deaths
In terms of deaths, as of February 17, 2021, 275 deaths of people diagnosed with COVID-19 have been reported. After a record number of deaths in December and January, February is at much better levels, surpassing the November figures. The highest death toll in COVID-19-positive people, with COVID-19 underlying cause of death, is in people with permanent residence in the province of Nicosia (37%) and then the province of Limassol. Meanwhile, measures and vaccinations have had a tangible effect on nursing homes, with incidents and deaths declining sharply.
More than 37 thousand tests
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health announced one death and 111 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 33,046. The person who died with the ultimate cause of death being attributed to COVID-19 is a 75-year-old woman with underlying diseases, who ended up at Limassol General Hospital. The total number of deaths with a final cause of COVID-19 disease amounts to 229. In the hospitals of OKYPY are treated 76 patients with COVID-19, of which 22 are in serious condition. Of the 22 patients who are critical, 12 are intubated, five are admitted to an intravenous intensive care unit and five to an intensive care unit. Yesterday's incidents occurred after 37,325 laboratory diagnoses, with the positivity rate decreasing to 0.30%. Of the 111 cases, 48 resulted from the process of tracking already confirmed cases, 18 from a private initiative and another 42 from rapid tests, of which 28 came from the province of Limassol.
Extension due to vaccinations
The goal of the Ministry of Health is that any relaxations adopted by the Ministry do not undermine the epidemiological picture, which is good but not safe. The Ministry of Health's strategy with the combination of rapid tests and vaccinations may work based on the data so far, but it still takes some time to largely complete the vaccination coverage of vulnerable groups and to remove the restrictions safely.
The flow of vaccines is gradually increasing as next week about 18-20 thousand doses are expected in Cyprus, with the Ministry of Health expecting accurate information from the companies. According to the representative of the Ministry of Health, Margarita Kyriakou, the citizens, despite the fact that they have the right to choose a vaccine, do not express a particular preference, a fact that shows their trust in the ministry. As part of the development of the vaccination program, the Ministry of Health announced yesterday the start of the process of submitting requests for vaccination in the accommodation of patients who are bedridden. Coordination for the arrangement and administration of the vaccine is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health. The vaccine will be administered at home or at the patient's place of residence by specialized general nurses of the State / OKYPY, who will contact the applicants to arrange an appointment for the vaccination. Patients who are registered as bedridden in the Information System of GESS have the right to submit a request.
Cyprus / Covid-19: One death and 111 new cases from 37,325 disease detection tests
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See the points for free rapid test tomorrow Saturday, February 20th