Cyprus to review coronavirus measures

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Cyprus authorities are to review coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols on Tuesday due to the rising number of cases in Italy and elsewhere, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said.

Asked if there will be increased measures, given the death of six elderly people in Italy, the minister said a meeting of health professionals will evaluate the situation.

“We will look again at the protocols, and upgrade them if need be, regardless of the instructions given and see if we as a country can take further steps.”

Cyprus is following recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

“So far, there has been no revised directive on handling passengers from Italy, or even from South Korea or from Iran. It’s not just Italy and it is not a matter of proximity, it rather depends on whether we have travellers coming from those countries,” Ioannou said.

He said a woman was quarantined on Friday as a precaution, despite being negative to the novel Coronavirus, she will remain in quarantine for 14 days as existing protocols demand.

The Cyprus Embassy in Italy issued an announcement calling on Cypriots living in Italy or planning to travel to the country, to follow the instructions of local authorities.

Due to the increased cases of the Covid19 in the north of Italy, some towns have been put under lockdown.

No entry or exit is allowed from the towns of Vo ‘Euganeo, Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, San Fiorano.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is working to support EU member states and strengthen international efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19, it announced on Monday.

EU Health & Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said she is planning to travel to Italy on Tuesday.

“In view of the rapidly evolving situation, we stand ready to increase our assistance…a joint expert mission of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organisation will depart to Italy this week to support the Italian authorities,” she announced.

New EU funding will help detect and diagnose the disease, care for infected people and prevent further transmission at this critical time.

Out of the €232 mln aid package announced (part of it subject to the agreement of the EU budgetary authorities), €114 mln will support the WHO, in particular, the global preparedness and response plan.

€100 mln is earmarked in the search for a vaccine and research on containment and prevention.

European Football authority UEFA is to take measures in an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading.

UEFA is contemplating having fixtures involving Italian teams in the Champions League and the Europa League played without fans.

Turin-based Juventus travelling to France to play Lyon is also raising concerns.

Reportedly, Italian authorities announced that players of Spanish champions Barcelona will undergo screenings for the virus upon their arrival in Naples to face Napoli.

On Thursday, Inter Milan is playing host to Bulgaria’s Ludogorets, with the Bulgarian champions officially requesting assurances from their opponent that their players and fans will be safe from Covid-19.