People sharing a home with someone who is self-isolating due to the coronavirus, are not restricted to staying at home unless they begin to show symptoms, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
In order to contain the spread of coronavirus in Cyprus, people who might have come in touch with other infected people or might have travelled to countries currently considered at risk are now being asked to self-isolate.
Travellers arriving from the areas of China other than Hubei, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, France and Spain are under obligatory self-isolation for 14 days, and must avoid close contacts and movement.
The instructions to follow for people who are asked to stay at home are easy enough if they live alone, but what should people do when a person in self-isolation lives shares his or her home with someone else?
An official from the ministry of health told Cyprus Mail that if the person is sharing his house with someone who is does not belong to a vulnerable category they are required to avoid contact as much as possible, wear a medical mask, to clean toilets, bathrooms, crockery and cooking utensils regularly, not to share towels or kitchen utensils, to stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened, and avoid being the same room as family members as much as possible. The household is also advised not to invite visitors to the house.
“The situation changes if the person in self-isolation is sharing a house with someone who is considered to be vulnerable, such as elderly people or people with an underlying medical condition,” the ministry official said.
“In that case, they will need to be separated, for both their sakes. First they will need to dial the 1420 hotline and inform the ministry of health of their situation.
“For those cases, we have dedicated accommodation facilities in Troodos and in Platres, where people who cannot self-isolate at home can stay for two weeks.
“Those facilities are also valid for people from other countries who are currently in Cyprus and do not have a permanent address on the island, like tourists and businesspeople who travelled here from places considered to be at risk.”
The advice of the ministry for people who need to go into self-isolation is to avoid going to the hospital, “as it considered the environment currently most at risk and where the highest chance of getting in contact with the virus is.”