Students in Limassol wreaked havoc on their high school Thursday morning, after it emerged that 40 to 50 cases thought to have tested positive ended up in the clear moments later.
According to local media, a group of seniors at a high school in Limassol refused to step inside the classroom after they got upset over inaccurate results from rapid tests.
Earlier reports said students got upset when they heard that there had been 40 cases amongst them that tested positive for the coronavirus but they were not allowed to get the results on paper. Reports also said both students and teachers were being tested on school premises.
'I am ashamed to be a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus today,' a student said, adding that even teachers were arguing amongst themselves over the incident
After the initial reaction officials who thought the numbers were too high ordered repeat tests with new kits, which reportedly came back negative. Students then were livid over the confusion, protesting further and calling on authorities to provide certified results on their rapid tests for COVID-19.
Smoke grenades were also reportedly used during the demonstration, according to local media, with police officers rushing to the school to maintain order.
A female student told reporters that about 20 of her schoolmates, who were initially found positive, had been standing next to each other in line and got tested with rapid test kits from one bag, while another group tested with kits from a different bag were all negative.
Another male student told reporters that, in fact, nobody had tested positive that day in the entire school.
"I'm ashamed to be a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus today," he said, adding that even teachers were arguing over the incident.
The angry protests came days after students and many parents said they were upset over the handling of rapid tests by school officials, including an education ministry rule that barred students from attending unless they would test negative once a week on school premises.
School administrations in different schools have reported “threatening and hostile intentions” on the part of some parents, who opposed the mandatory testing rule but also slammed the ministry’s decision to send untested kids home for remote lessons.