Cyprus police are investigating six doctors who have allegedly provided their patients with fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.
Police spokesman Christos Andreou told the Financial Mirror that the force is currently looking into six doctors, three from Limassol, two from Paphos, and the Larnaca-based doctor arrested last month.
Andreou confirmed progress had been made in the Larnaca doctor’s case where two of his patients who were issued fake jab cards have since died of COVID.
“Investigations into the 53-year-old cardiologist in Larnaca suspected of issuing fake vaccination certificates are at an advanced stage, and we could be calling the doctor back for additional statements”.
The 53-year-old doctor appeared before Larnaca District Court on August 7 and issued a seven-day remand order. He has since been released as police inquiries continue.
Police started looking into the doctor when a man reported that his son, who was seriously ill with COVID-19, claimed to have a certificate even though he was never vaccinated.
Since then, the man, a 44-year-old, passed away, while another 41-year-old patient has also died.
Both men reportedly admitted to doctors who were treating them at ICUs that their vaccination card was fake.
“We have contacted everyone on the list of people who received the vaccine from the doctor.
“Some came voluntarily for blood tests, while others refused.
“However, we cannot force anyone to have a test,” said Andreou.
He said statements had been taken from family members, ICU doctors and nursing staff.
Reportedly, 47 people from a list of 102 patients registered as having been vaccinated by the suspect were questioned while a court order was obtained to access his bank record.
“A number of the doctor’s patients have accepted to carry out tests to verify whether they have developed antibodies or not”.
Police are also looking into cases involving two doctors in Paphos and three in Limassol.
They are investigating whether the doctors issued vaccination certificates without actually administering a vaccine.
The medical profession has demanded the authorities take action against doctors who have allegedly issued fake jab cards.
President of the Cyprus Medical Association, Dr Peter Agathangelou, told state radio CyBC it is “unacceptable” for patients to die due to possible criminal activity of doctors.
“A few doctors may be responsible for these human losses. CyMA will stand up against anyone responsible for these deaths.
“We are cooperating with the police in the investigations.”
Agathangelou said those who have committed such illegal acts should be in prison.
He added that once investigations regarding fake vaccination cards have been completed, CyMA will be looking to revoke the licences of doctors proven to have issued fake vaccination cards.
He said some doctors are giving their own prescriptions for coronavirus while also advising patients not to go to the hospital.
“As a result, patients get to the hospital when it’s too late.
“The public should only follow the advice of specialists and the scientific community.”
A vaccination card is one requirement for Cypriots to secure a Safe Pass, granting them entry to crowded indoor and outdoor facilities such as restaurants, bars, gyms, hotels, supermarkets, and shops.