About one in five Paphos residents contacted to test for coronavirus are not turning up to give a sample, Mayor Phedon Phedonos told CyBC on Monday.
Paphos plans to test about 1000 residents from the town and neighbouring communities under a joint initiative with the Health Ministry to determine the extent of contagion in the community which has seen a disproportionately high number of Covid-19 cases.
Sample taking started on Saturday and continued on Sunday with a total of 388 residents going to the former residence of the Paphos district officer for their appointment.
More tests will be carried out today and tomorrow, and the first results are expected today.
According to the mayor 18% to 20% of those contacted are not showing up, while 6% to 8% cannot be tracked down, either because they are in quarantine or have gone to their villages.
“The more tests we do, the quicker we will contain the pandemic,” he said.
But the mayor urged against the public relaxing adherence to social distancing rules because of the drop in the number of new cases in recent days.
He said the problem was at hospitals and clinics and the next concern were supermarkets and banks which must be careful. “Public health must take precedence over money,” he said.
Moreover, some 20 Paphos police officers who came into contact with coronavirus cases are also expected to be tested today.