articles | 02 March 2021

Cyprus first in EU for number of tests, third for vaccines given

Cyprus continues to top the list of EU countries with the most tests per 100,000 population, and is third as regards vaccinations, the health ministry said on Monday.

According to the ministry, Cyprus carried out 24,196 tests per 100,000 population last week, remaining top of the EU list. Austria came in next with 16,862 tests per 100,000 people, followed by Denmark with 14,481.

In total, 229,743 rapid tests were carried out between February 22 and 28, among which 809 were positive, a positivity rate of 0.35 per cent.

The health ministry recalled that testing was part of its three-fold strategy for managing the pandemic: ‘testing-monitoring-vaccinations’.

Citing data published on OurWorldInData website, the ministry said Cyprus ranked third among EU countries in terms of the administration of at least one vaccine dose, with an average of 8.7 doses per 100 people (data up to February 26). Malta ranked first with 17.25 doses per 100 followed by Denmark with 10.26/100.

According to the health ministry, so far, 78,642 vaccinations have been carried out in Cyprus, 20,152 in the last week. In total 22,880 people have been vaccinated with both doses, and 55,762 have received the first one.

“The vaccination coverage of the population continued last week with the age group of 71 years and over, while the vaccination of health professionals and patients who fall into the vulnerable groups in progress,” the health ministry said.

As regards checks to ensure the protocols are observed, it said that 1,160 businesses and 4,531 workers were checked last week while no fines were issued.

Commenting on the current phase of relaxations that started on Monday and concerns the return of all lyceum pupils back to the classrooms and the opening of gyms, dance, music and private tutoring schools with limitations on the number of people served, the ministry said it was important to properly observe the measures for the successful return to normality.

“The epidemiological situation, although improved, remains at a crucial point which can easily worsen,” the health ministry said.

The primary goal is through the adoption of a series of actions, it said, to keep the epidemiological indicators stable until the vaccination coverage of a significant percentage of the population is achieved in the coming weeks.

At the moment, vaccinations in Cyprus are carried out in 11 vaccination centres, and six mobile units. There is the possibility for the operation of 26 vaccination centres in all districts.

So far, three vaccines have been evaluated and licensed by the European Medicines Agency: Pfizer/ BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna. Johnson & Johnson has also applied to EMA for license, which is expected to be evaluated in the coming days, the health ministry said.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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