Sample taking for coronavirus tests started at 8 am in Aradippou, Mayor Evangelos Evangelides said.
Aradippou has recorded a disproportionately high number of Covid -19 cases — 39 so far — and the Health Ministry and the municipality have arranged for additional free tests to avert its further spread in the community.
Evangelides said that members of the ministry’s epidemiological monitoring unit have set up in the car park of the municipal medical centre. Sample taking is done after appointment, with those being tested remaining in their car.
He said 150 people ‘front line’ people will be tested today — that is those that work in supermarkets, grocers, pharmacies, fruit shops, bakeries and kiosks.
They have been contacted by the municipality and appointments made.
Tomorrow, it will be the turn of another 150 people, those who have come into contact with the 39 confirmed cases in Aradippou and others who have asked to be tested, he added.
Evangelides also appealed to residents and businessmen who can to contribute to a special fundraiser so that the municipality can continue to subsidise tests too.
The mayor said that Aradippou residents had complied with the stay at home decrees. But 15 days ago, before the decrees were enacted, the virus was spread in the community by people who had come from the UK to attend three funerals — one of a person who had died in Cyprus and of two who had died abroad and were buried in Cyprus.
As people did not know they had been infected, the virus spread further. He said that in one family three people had tested positive, in another four and in another six.
The tests will give a picture by Monday and Tuesday of the situation in Aradippou so that the issue can be addressed without more people getting sick, he said.
Once the results are out, the municipality will close any businesses still in operation that have a positive case, he concluded.