COVID19: Lead virus expert resigns from advisory committee

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A prominent scientist in the government’s fight against COVID-19 Dr Leondios Kostrikis, on Monday, resigned from the government’s advisory committee on coronavirus.

Kostrikis who had been the face of the COVID-19 advisory committee at the beginning of the pandemic in March, submitted his resignation to Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou, citing a “work overload”.

According to a Health Ministry source, Ioannou initially refused to accept the resignation and urged the Professor of Biotechnology and Virology at the University of Cyprus to continue providing his services.

However, Kostrikis insisted on his resignation with the health minister expressing his thanks for his services and hoped to continue working with him in the future.

The health expert who appeared daily on TV during the first lockdown had reportedly not seen eye to eye with the health ministry over specific measures to tackle the virus.

Kostrikis has also been targeted by COVID deniers and anti-vaxxers with vandals daubing his car with slogans against him in late December.

The virologist said at the time: “I will not be intimated with such actions. I will not stop doing my job because some people vandalised my car”.

He had also reported to police his suspicions that he was being followed by certain individuals.

Kostrikis is also the head of the biotechnology and molecular virology lab at the University of Cyprus.

The ministry clarified that they would remain in contact with Kostrikis and seek his advice based on his expertise if necessary.