Complaints about non-existent infrastructure for the disabled at rapid test and vaccination points

Testimonies of people who lived through the suffering

Disabled rapid test, disabled

Cyprus can be described as anything but European, regarding the issue of accessibility of people with disabilities in various services. Now, with the emerging need to manage its pandemic COVID-19, the problem of this category of our fellow citizens acquires this dimension as well, in the light of the incredible suffering they are suffering, waiting in line to undergo a rapid test or to be vaccinated for the new coronavirus disease. received complaints regarding specific points for a free rapid test in Nicosia, with the president of the Cyprus Paraplegics Organization, Dimitris Lamprianidis, increasing, saying that there are serious problems, which, two years later, should be had been resolved.

The complaints

Citizens, who have felt the problems of accessibility in their skin, contacted, in an effort to hear their appeals to those in charge, in order to create the infrastructure that will help them. The first case concerns a disabled person, who visited on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 the free rapid test point in the church of Panagia Evangelistria in Pallouriotissa, Nicosia. According to our fellow citizen, it is not necessary to use a wheelchair for his movements, but he uses a cane.

He got to the spot in his car, got off and walked to the window of the small room, which houses the people who are taking the exams, but he could not wait in line. He then left, asking someone to take the sample from his car, to which he returned. He told us that, due to the lack of infrastructure for the disabled, his wife is forced to leave her job in order to accompany him, when he wants to go for a rapid test. In fact, as the same citizen told us, it would be difficult for even a wheelchair to move at that point.

A second complaint was made by our fellow citizen, with mobility problems, this time for the rapid test point at Aglantzia High School. There he had to travel quite a distance to reach the sampling point. A citizen, who realized him, offered to help him, however he considers it a great insult for himself to constantly ask for help, for issues which, in the year 2022, should not be an obstacle for the disabled.

The third case, which was reported to, concerns our fellow human being, also a disabled person, who had an accessibility problem at the State Fair, a few months ago, when he went to be vaccinated. He then visited the Ministry of Health, where he met an official to whom he submitted his complaints.

amea ekthesi vroches rapid test, DISABLED

On December 30, 2021, a large number of our fellow citizens, including the elderly woman pictured above, waited in heavy rain to be vaccinated at the State Fair.

Miserable situation

The president of the Cyprus Paraplegics Organization (OPAK), Dimitris Lamprianidis, speaking to, said that there are vaccination centers which are in a miserable condition and mentioned, in particular, the State Report. There, the road is unsuitable for wheelchairs, while it is very difficult to access for people with walking problems, but also for pregnant women, from whom the Organization receives complaints, he noted.

The state must find a way to solve these problems, stressed Mr. Lambrianidis, as more than two years in a pandemic, it is not possible to claim that we operate under emergency conditions. He said, however, that there is a way for people with disabilities to be served in their cars, without having to park and then go to the sampling or vaccination point.

Problems, however, are observed not only with regard to the above, but also with the appointment of PCR examination for the disabled who live in isolated areas. As Mr. Lambrianidis explained, there was a case of a person who lives in Polis Chrysochous and had to go to Paphos to be examined. When it comes to a paraplegic and / or elderly person, things become much more difficult, underlined the president of OPAK.

They are served, says the Ministry of Defense

Asked to respond to the above complaints on behalf of the Ministry of Health, the Communication Advisor of the competent Minister, Konstantinos Athanassiou, said that, in cases of disabled people who come with an escort to a vaccination center, the escort enters it and looks for the responsible person and states that there is a person with a disability who needs to be vaccinated in his car. As for the State Report, they give the code of entry to the attendant, with whom he gains access by his car, with which he approaches the vaccination point to receive the vaccine.

Regarding the free rapid test points, Mr. Athanassiou stressed that in the list published daily by the Ministry of Health, next to each sampling point, there is a mobile phone number. When calling, the disabled person can request that his sampling from his car be arranged when he arrives at the vaccination center, without having to get off his vehicle.