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Coronavirus: Private company at centre over Paphos tests spat will no longer carry them out (updated)

The health ministry said on Wednesday night that NIPD Genetics would no longer take samples in Paphos, urging people not to go to the facilities it had set up for tests.

The move came after NIPD rebuffed accusations made by Paphos mayor of Phedonas Phedonos, who accused the company of overcharging people for the tests.

On Wednesday morning Phedonos took a swipe at the company’s general manager Philippos Patsalis on Facebook, claiming that “charging people between €110 and €150 in order for them to be tested is criminal.”

He also complained that long queues formed outside the two facilities where the tests were conducted because only one nurse per facility was hired to carry out the procedure.

“It is unacceptable that some companies are taking advantage of people’s fears in times like these,” he said.

Later on Wednesday, NIPD Genetics released a statement rejecting all accusations made by the Paphos mayor.

“We were very surprised to see that the mayor of Paphos decided to launch a defamatory campaign against our company, making inaccurate allegations and accusing us of inflating the fees of the tests we carry out.

“We want to make it clear that the mayor knew exactly how much we are charging for the tests, since the fees were agreed with the health ministry beforehand.”

The company also said “they don’t need to prove the competence, conscientiousness and professionalism of our employees who have had the full trust of the scientific community and of our customers for many years.”

NIPD Genetics said that, should Phedonos continue with his allegations, they will take the matter to court.

The health ministry announced late on Wednesday that NIPD Genetics had been taking samples at a station set up at the district officer’s residence on Griva Digenis and Neophytos Nikolaides streets in Paphos would no longer be carrying out tests.

“Therefore, citizens are urged not to go there,” the ministry said.

It added that testing by Pavlidis Chemistry Labs continues as is. The lab is located on 134 Agiou Stefanou street, Emba, 8052, Paphos.

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