The Health Ministry has designated special quarantine areas at Nicosia, Limassol and Makarios Hospitals for any patient suspected or confirmed with the new coronavirus (covid 19) while those who have come into close contact with them will be isolated at a camping site at Kannaviou for a fortnight.
This was announced by Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Monday in outlining the health protocols and other measures being implemented here to prepare for and deal with a possible coronavirus case.
No cases of the virus have been found in Cyprus. Two suspected cases both tested negative.
However, Cyprus is implementing the measures and protocols recommended by the World Health Organisation and agreed by EU Health Ministers at a meeting last Thursday.
Cyprus has activated a special task force and implemented measures at ports of entry and the checkpoints. “There is a plan to manage an incident from the moment it is located in Cyprus, to the patient’s transfer to a specially designated area in hospital, the carrying out of tests and the management of people who were in close contact with the patient,” the minister said.
Other government authorities as well as companies managing the ports and airports have been kept up to date from the beginning, he said.
There are medical centres at Larnaca and Paphos Airports and passengers who are arriving in Cyprus from China in transit from a third country are screened. There are also special areas at the airports for those who have come into close contact with a patient. Similar measures are taken at the checkpoints while the bicommunal technical committee on health is exchanging information.
Specially designated areas at Nicosia, Limassol and Makarios Hospital will be used to quarantine patients pending test results and after should the result be positive.
A location — SEK’s camping site in Kannavia — has also been found to host those who come into close contact with a patient who is confirmed to have the coronavirus for 14 days, in line with WHO instructions.
Tests can be held here at the Institute of Neurology and Genetics which means that results are out speedily, he added.
The minister said at the meeting with his EU counterparts he had noted the need for the EU to activate mechanism for joint purchase of vaccines, medication and equipment to deal with such cross-border challenges and ensure all member states have equal access to the necessary treatment by boosting their purchasing power, something particularly important for small countries such as Cyprus.