COVID19: Paphos Mayor fuming over lockdown

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Paphos Mayor Phedon Phedonos is calling for an official explanation after a government advisor on the pandemic declared the town should not have been placed on lockdown.

The Paphos Mayor said such comments have upset residents while raising a number of questions which authorities should address immediately.

Phedonos tweeted his reactions on Sunday, following comments made by epidemiologist Leondios Kostrikis, who argued that Paphos should not have gone on lockdown as its COVID-19 picture was no different from the other districts.

“Paphos had the same epidemiological picture as Nicosia and Larnaca when measures were decided. So, I want people to question why Paphos is currently on lockdown,” Kostrikis told CyBC radio on Sunday.

Dr Kostrikis said that data updated on 16 November confirmed that  Paphos’ epidemiological data was not worse than anywhere else except Limassol.

He said that the decision was taken at a political level, not a technocratic one, and those who closed the district should be called to explain their decision.

Phedonos tweeted, that although local authorities knew cases were not out of control, “we, nevertheless, called on the public to abide by the restrictive measures to stem the spread of the pandemic”.

Paphos and Limassol went into lockdown on 13 November with a night curfew between 8 pm and 5 am and a travel ban also in place, until 30 November.

Shopping malls, department stores, restaurants, bars, Children’s play areas, high schools, hair salons, gyms, and beauty parlours also had to close.

In the rest of Cyprus, a curfew will remain until 30 November from 11 pm to 5 am (2100 GMT to 0300 GMT) while bars, cafes and restaurants will be required to close by 10:30 pm (2030 GMT).

When announcing the measures, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that since the pandemic in March until September, only 28% of the cases were from Limassol and Paphos, since October they accounted for 70%.

Some 49 of the then 68 hospital patients (72%) were from the two districts as were seven of the last eight COVID-19 deaths reported until that date.