Cyprus Police say they are investigating allegations about local pharmacies issuing fake positive results from rapid tests, with the health ministry warning of permit revocation and criminal prosecution.
Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela reportedly spoke with Police Chief Stelios Papatheodorou on Tuesday, with the two men discussing information received by the government that pointed to pharmacies issuing fraudulent results in coronavirus rapid tests.
Local media said Hadjipantela’s office had received complaints about pharmacies registering people as having tested positive following a rapid test for the coronavirus while in reality they were not infected individuals.
The minister warned pharmacies they would have their permits suspended in case of a pending investigation, while criminal prosecution would go forward for those found to have broken the law
A health ministry spokesperson on Wednesday did not provide specific information but suggested the scheme could involve friends or relatives of pharmacy staff or individuals with familial status who tested negative but were able to obtain a positive result.
A positive test for coronavirus would mean that after self-isolation an infected person can use a Safe Pass without most restrictions or additional rapid tests and vaccinations.
The spokesperson added that the health minister wrote a letter to the Cyprus Pharmaceutical Association urging members to take measures against fake test results.
Local media said Hadjipantela warned pharmacies they would have their permits suspended in case of a pending investigation, while criminal prosecution would go forward for those found to have broken the law.
Reports on Wednesday pointed to a small number of pharmacies in two districts.
But Police spokesperson Christos Andreou said any information was still under evaluation, adding “there are no specific references to specific pharmacies at this time.”