Coronavirus: No reason for Cypriots abroad to panic

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There is no reason for Cypriots residing or travelling in Italy to panic, said the Cyprus Foreign Ministry’s crisis management official Demetris Hadjiargyrou.

On the spread of coronavirus, he urged people to register their details but said that the response has been limited so far.

Only 20 people have registered their contact details at “Oikade”, the Ministry’s dedicated website, Hadjiargyrou told CNA.

The Foreign Ministry issued on February 24 a travel advisory, urging Cypriots to avoid non-essential travel to Italy’s Lombardy and Veneto regions, as well as to South Korea’s Gyeongsang District.

Hadjiargyrou said there is no reason for Cypriots who are in Italy to panic, while the Ministry has no information about Cypriots in South Korea.

The Crisis Management Director is attending a meeting on COVID-2019 on Wednesday at the Foreign Ministry with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Health.

The Foreign Ministry received no information from its Embassies about any cases of Cypriot citizens who came into direct contact with confirmed cases of coronavirus or who are residing in areas placed under quarantine.

According to Hadjiargyrou, there are one or two cases of Cypriots in Italy who contacted the Embassy there and were guided in order to return to Cyprus.

A group of pupils visiting Milan, as part of Erasmus+ program, are expected to return to Cyprus later Wednesday.

Asked about people’s interest to register their details at www.oikade.gov.cy he said it has been limited so far.

The Foreign Ministry wants to know the number of Cypriots residing or travelling abroad at any given time, in case there is a need for an emergency evacuation.

Hadjiargyrou did not preclude additional travel advisory due to the spread of coronavirus, although no such decision has been taken yet.

The Crisis Management Department is in constant contact with the European Commission and receives daily updates about the situation.