Cyprus has introduced the first preventive measures at ports of entry as a precaution in view of the coronavirus outbreak in China while protocols have been drawn up by public health authorities in the event a case is detected here.
Health Minister Costas Ioannou told reporters that travellers from China are being asked to answer a questionnaire to determine whether they have been in areas where the coronoavirus has been reported. There are no direct flights from China, but authorities are briefed when passengers have transited through other airports.
A meeting is scheduled later today at Larnaca Airport between the operator Hermes Airports and the director of the health services to discuss the plan of action in the event a case is detected here. The Cyprus News Agency said airline company representatives will also attend.
A meeting was also held today between the health services and the ambulance service regarding the protocol to transfer patients, should the issue arise. Philenews reports that a suitable place has been found in Nicosia should a suspect case be reported.
Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia on Monday, the Health Minister said that health services are ready to implement the protocols to manage coronavirus cases, if and when they appear in Cyprus.
“We are following the instructions of the World Health Organisation as updates come in…protocols cave been put in place for such cases, all health professionals have been briefed as to how they should act should there be a suspicious case or a confirmed case, how hospitals should handle it, the ambulance service, all health professionals,” he said.
The minister added that health professionals at points of entry — the ports and airports and immigration officials have been briefed. “In cooperation with the Foreign Ministry where passengers come from China through other airports, there is a specific questionnaire that has been prepared and if there is a suspicious case, then the protocols come into force.”
Indicatively, he said authorities have been informed that travellers will be arriving via other countries from China today and will have to follow this procedure.