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Coronavirus: Doctors condemn threats against Paediatrics chief

The Makarios children's hospital in Nicosia

Medical associations on Thursday rushed to defend their members and express support for Makarios children’s hospital paediatrics chief Avraam Elia after he received a death threat for supporting anti-Covid vaccinations for children over 12.

“It is unacceptable for doctors to receive such threats for serving the state and science, based on concrete evidence and contribute to ensuring public health and protecting the health of the public – both adults and children,” a written announcement by the Cyprus Medical Association said.

On Wednesday, Elia said that he had received an anonymous phone call from someone threatening to “bump him off” if he did not stop encouraging people to vaccinate themselves and their children, also implying that doctors that do so are being paid by pharmaceutical companies.

The association expressed its concern about the incident, condemning the targeting of scientists and aggressive behaviour against its members. “Extreme reactions that go as far as threatening a human life are unacceptable,” it said.

At the same time, in its own announcement, the Cyprus Paediatric Society condemned the incident with disgust, expressing “unlimited support” for Elia and rage on part of the paediatric community in Cyprus.

The incident comes as a continuation of previous unacceptable actions against paediatricians, it added.

“Any efforts to muzzle credible scientific efforts whose only objective is to protect children’s health, and the bullying of our members, are things we are strongly against”.

Police spokesperson Marina Christodoulidou confirmed to CyBC that Elia had passed the suspect’s phone number to police, who immediately contacted him.

He reportedly did not deny his actions and apologised, saying he was in a frenzied state at the time of the phone call.

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