Cyprus Mail

‘Epidemics know no borders’

President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Monday

Measures against the coronavirus have been stepped up on both sides of the divide according to World Health Organisation guidelines after the two leaders on Monday agreed to step up co-operation.

“Epidemics know no borders,” Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Tuesday and highlighted the importance of the collaboration of the two communities.

Head of state health services Elisavet Constantinou on Tuesday inspected the implementation of safety measures against coronavirus at crossing points.

According to the authorities, officers started implementing the measures at all crossing points on Friday.

The measures include the completion of a brief questionnaire for people crossing into the government-controlled areas. Citizens are asked whether they have visited China in the last 14 days or if they have been in contact with anyone who could possibly have been infected.

Police at the crossing points have regular contact with the Department of Epidemiological Surveillance of the Ministry of Health.

Safety measures have been adopted at the airports since the end of last month including the establishment of a quarantine room, while airlines are obliged to check passengers who come from China.

Passengers on transit flights from China are compelled to inform the airlines so they can be checked at the airport Health Minister Costantinos Ioannou said on Monday.

Authorities in the north installed thermal cameras at the Tymbou airport in Nicosia and started scanning passengers arriving from high-risk countries last week.

Thermal cameras were also installed at certain checkpoints to detect people with fever.

Citizens who came in contact with patients infected with the virus the last two weeks and experience high fever, coughing or have trouble breathing should call 1420.

So far, no reported case of the virus has been found in Cyprus, but Greek and Turkish Cypriots agreed to remain in close contact and provide assistance where necessary.

One man was quarantined after arriving at Larnaca airport with a high temperature on Friday. He was sent home on Sunday when tests showed he did not have the virus.

Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities of Cyprus to step on measures against the coronavirus in line with the guidelines from the World’s Health Organisation after the meeting of the two leaders on Monday.

The bi-communal technical committee on health briefed the leaders of the two Cypriot communities Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci on Monday making sure all the necessary precautions were taken against the spreading of the virus on the island.


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