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Coronavirus: Geroskipou breathes sigh of relief as all sample tests come back negative 

Photo; CNA

All 107 samples taken from front line and municipal workers in Geroskipou in Paphos have tested negative for Covid-19, according to the mayor.

“Everybody tested was clear which is a relief, and very good for the psychology of the people that are still working,” Michalis Pavlides told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday.

Four people living in the area had previously tested positive for the virus, and the mayor was informed of the results in a letter from the ministry of health last week.

“The ministry informed me that they were found through contact tracing, two were connected to Paphos hospital,” he said.

The municipality conducted targeted testing of people working in the front line, such as those working in supermarkets, bakeries and takeaways, as well as municipal staff.

The tests carried out on municipal staff were subsidised, while other participants paid €50 each with the remaining €60 covered by the Geroskipou municipality.

“The tests cost €110. We paid €60 euros and the participants paid €50,” he said.

Pavlides has also been tested, privately, and he paid for this himself. He too tested negative and said the procedure was simple, a swab from his nasal passage, and not painful. He received the results within 48 hours.

“We also paid the full fee for the six members of neighbourhood watch that are helping us at the moment,” he said. The municipality has given them a vehicle to use and the six are checking the neighbourhood streets to ensure that everyone is complying with the latest decrees, he said.

“They are helping us a lot and as they are out in the community, it was important to get them tested,” he said. If they spot anything untoward, they inform the police, he said.

Although most residents in Geroskipou are complying with the decrees and the 9pm curfew, which is in place until 6am the following morning, there have been a couple of instances in the last week where gatherings of large groups of men had to be broken up.

The mayor said that a number of foreign residents, mostly men, visit each other’s houses and are therefore in large groups.

“There have been cases of ten or more in one house, they are foreign gypsies, first we explain to them and then hope that they understand,” he said.

Neighbourhood watch members first inform and explain that this sort of gathering is not currently permitted and if they don’t listen, the police are called to deal with the matter, he said. “We haven’t had any instances of people not listening to the police,” he said.

Pavlides also advised people to get tested to put their minds at rest. “The atmosphere in the municipality has changed for the better. Staff are relieved that they are all clear and everyone has courage to carry on,” he said.

Further testing will be undertaken in the future, he said.

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