Police carried out a raid at a Larnaca based clinic, known for offering long Covid treatments, for the unlicensed use of human cells, the health ministry told the Cyprus Mail on Friday.
The health ministry had filed a complaint with police that the clinic was importing human cells, allegedly for “research purposes” but was instead carrying out cellular therapy by transplanting the cells into patients.
According to a health ministry spokesman, police officers and health officials carried out a raid and confiscated all the human cells that had been imported to Cyprus against the law.
“These preparations are not licensed,” the spokesman said.
Earlier this month, the health ministry visited the clinic to assess its long Covid treatments.
Then, a specific machine used for apheresis, a process where all the blood is removed, its components separated and then re-transfused into the body, was wrongly used to treat patients with post-Covid symptoms.
On July 5, the ministry sent a warning letter to the clinic saying that they have contacted the manufacturers of the equipment who confirmed that its use is not suggested to treat long Covid. The ministry requested it stop using and advertising the treatment.
The company in charge of clinic, which also runs health centres in Switzerland and Germany, responded that they will stop the apheresis machine to treat post-Covid.
“We don’t know if they stopped it,” the health ministry official said, explaining there is no way to confirm that they have stopped using it for the specific patients. “Unless we catch a patient using the machine, we won’t know,” he added.
The clinic hit the headlines in the UK this month, after a joint investigation between ITV News and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) revealed hundreds of patients travel to the island to receive experimental and expensive treatments for long Covid.
According to their reports, the Cyprus-based centre has treated around 120 people with long Covid symptoms with some saying they did not see any improvement.
The Cyprus Mail has contacted the clinic for comment.