COVID19: USA woman who spread virus faces prosecution

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Cyprus authorities are considering bringing charges against a woman who violated self-isolation after returning from the USA, infecting 14 other people with COVID-19.

Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis responding on Twitter on Monday, said authorities are looking into whether the conduct of the woman – who travelled across the island – warrants legal action or not, noting that she is currently under supervision.

“A probe is underway through testimonies and the contact tracing process to see if charges can be substantiated against her, and if yes, which ones,” Yiolitis said on Twitter.

“Rest assured that where responsibilities arise on such a serious matter, they will be attributed,” she added.

The Justice Minister noted that legal authorities are waiting for a report from the Health Ministry about tracing her contacts which will help to determine whether a case can be substantiated against her.

Those found violating the self-isolation decree can be fined €300 or jailed for a year and/or fined up to €50,000.

The woman, according to health authorities is responsible for infecting 14 people in Limassol and Larnaca, after attending a dinner party and organising a birthday party for her daughter in violation of her quarantine.

Reportedly, among the COVID-19 cases attributed to the woman is a 13-year-old girl who is being treated at the Makarios children’s hospital.

It understood that the woman moves in circles among the rich and wealthy of Cypriot society and she attended and organised parties frequented by the ‘elite’.

Many have speculated of a potential cover-up because of the people who have been exposed to the virus.

Police told the Financial Mirror that they were awaiting instruction from the competent authorities on how to proceed.

Despite Yiolitis’ response, critics have come down hard on the authorities arguing that they were late in their response to the case and others like it.

Comments on social media reveal fears that the woman will not receive the appropriate punishment for her misconduct because of her connections.

Authorities have also been criticised for not coming down hard on bars and venues that packed in crowds in the early days post-lockdown, sending the wrong signals.

Yiolitis said police will be conducting intensive random spot checks across Cyprus to confirm that people arriving from category C countries (like the USA) and close contacts of confirmed cases are not violating their quarantine.