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COVID19: Virus hotspot Aradippou starts drive-through tests

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Cyprus health authorities on Friday started targeted coronavirus testing from Aradippou residents at a drive-through facility to contain the virus spreading in a so-called hotspot.

Testing by appointment is being conducted at a parking lot of the local church Saint Loucas.

According to Aradippou Mayor Evangelos Evangelides, authorities are to collect some 150 samples on Friday and another 150 on Saturday.

The Health Ministry and the municipality have arranged for the free tests to be conducted in an effort to avert its further spread in the community.

As announced by the Epidemiological Monitoring Unit, Aradippou has recorded a disproportionately high number of COVID-19 cases with 39 so far.

Sample taking is done by appointment, with those being tested remaining in their car.

Evangelides said the 150 people being tested Friday are those working on the “frontline” such as in local supermarkets, grocers, pharmacies, fruit shops, bakeries and kiosks.

Another 150 people, who have come into contact with the 39 confirmed cases in Aradippou will be tested on Saturday.

Evangelides also appealed to residents and businesses to contribute to a special fundraiser so that the municipality can continue to subsidise tests too.

Evangelides said the virus spread in Aradippou some 15 days ago during three funerals attended by people who had come from the UK to attend and infected family members.

He said the outbreak was not done to people ignoring the strict social distancing rules in the village.

“For 10 days, municipality officials have been patrolling the streets to confirm that there is no unnecessary movement, no gatherings at homes or anywhere else, and generally the Ministry of Health’s decrees on restricting people movement are respected.”

It is believed the Aradippou outbreak is concentrated among members of three families in the municipality.

The test results are expected to be known by Monday and Tuesday, giving a clearer picture of the situation in Aradippou.