A free rapid testing program, focussing on COVID hotspots Paphos and Limassol was launched on Monday to help health authorities identify the extent to which the virus has spread in the community.
Paphos along with the Limassol have been declared as centres of COVID-19 as according to the latest epidemiological data, Limassol’s 14-day cumulative notification rate on 8 November had risen to 516.9 per 100,000, as did Paphos’ at 226.4.
The 14-day cumulative notification rate for Famagusta is also dangerously rising at 178.4. Nicosia’s rate stands at 102.7 and Larnaca’s at 117.7.
In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, Zenonas Zenonos, head of the laboratory awarded the contract by the Ministry of Health to carry out the free testing program in Paphos, said that the scheme employs rapid antigen tests, rather than the PCR test which takes much longer to produce results.
Zenonos, Director of Mediwell Home Healthcare Services, argued that rapid testing will help bring the virus under control, allowing residents to return to their daily routine.
He said antigen tests are highly reliable with an efficiency rate of 92 to 98%.
“This is a first-class opportunity to compare the results of rapid tests with those of PCR tests. Those who are found to be positive after the antigen test, will also be subjected to a PCR test”.
Zenonos said that the test is conducted with a nasal swab and the results are ready within 15 minutes.
He added that people will be informed by the company within 24 hours by SMS if they do not wish to wait at the site for the result.
Similar free testing schemes have also been launched in Limassol, also deemed as a virus hotspot and Larnaca and Famagusta.
These rapid testing schemes are available to everyone.
Residents in Paphos can get tested at a mobile testing facility set up in front of the Town Hall and another facility on Eleftherios Venizelou Avenue between 9 am and 5 pm.
In Polis Chrysochous, a testing facility has been set up on the premises of the Town Hall (9 am-5 pm).
In Limassol citizens can get tested between 9 am and 5 pm at
- The Limassol District Administration building
- Ayios Athanasios Industrial Area
- Mesa Yitonia (Town Hall)
- Molos next to Café Nero
- Ayia Varvara Church in the village of Zakaki
- Yermasoyia town centre, opposite the Skaros tavern
Larnaca rapid test locations
People in Larnaca can get tested at a facility set up in the parking lot of the Stelios Andreou Supermarket (Livadia).
In Famagusta, citizens can get tested at a facility set up in the parking lot of the Paralimni Municipality.