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Chances of quarantined man having coronavirus ‘very low’

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The possibility of Cyprus confirming its first suspected case of coronavirus is very low, said health officials on Saturday.

During a press conference on the suspected coronavirus case, medical experts assured that the Chinese man held in quarantine at Nicosia General Hospital is in good health and gave no indications of fever on Saturday.

Tests to confirm whether the 22-year-old contracted coronavirus or not were sent abroad and final results are expected by Sunday.

Elisavet Constantinou, the Director of Medical and Public Health Services, told reporters that preparations to deal with cases like this started a long time ago, by initiating protocols in line with World Health Organisation and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control guidelines.

Pathologist Costas Constantinou said the epidemic is ongoing and guidelines change constantly.

According to these guidelines, the case would have been placed under surveillance, but now it needs to be further examined.

He also said that in the last few weeks a series of measures were taken, increasing vigilance at points of entry and providing guidance to health professionals and various services on how to handle a case.

The patient visited Beijing on January 18 and was far from Wuhan, the area where the virus emerged.

Ioanna Gregoriou, Occupational and Public Health Doctor, said from her part that WHO and ECDC directives indicate that only passengers arriving from Hubei the Province, in China, should be examined at local airports.

However, checks in Cyprus are being conducted on all passengers coming from China and this is why this case was immediately identified, Gregoriou noted.

Constantinou said that a relative of the man who is in quarantine at the hospital was also being monitored for having contact with the possible coronavirus case.

The relative has been examined and has no symptoms, he added.