Cyprus planning for possible Coronavirus pandemic

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Cyprus is preparing its action plan in case the World Health Organisation declares the novel Coronavirus a pandemic, said Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou.

Ioannou met with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and Justice Minister George Savvides on Wednesday to discuss efforts to make sure emergency services that will be called to respond to such a scenario were on the same page.

“Some additional measures have been added and we will proceed with evaluating their progress within the coming days. As a first measure, it has been decided to tighten controls at checkpoints, with additional staff from the Police”.

Ioannou had earlier visited the crossing point at Nicosia’s Ledra Street to see firsthand how measures were implemented.

He said that authorities are on their toes as new data concerning the spread of the virus is coming in every few hours.

Asked if authorities will be screening travellers arriving from Greece after the confirmed coronavirus case in Thessaloniki, the Minister responded negatively.

“Greece has not been designated as a high-risk country, as it has only one recorded incident. High-risk countries are not designated by the Ministry of Health, but by the World Health Organization based on epidemiological data available.”

He added: “People should not panic, yes, it is an epidemic, but we have the experience from last year’s flu epidemic”.

Ioannou is to brief President Nicos Anastasiades on the coronavirus situation and measures taken by Cypriot authorities.

Cyprus has no confirmed cases of coronavirus despite a few scares but reports suggest that there is a shortage of face masks due to panic buying.