President offers Troodos residence for Covid-19 isolation

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President Nicos Anastasiades has offered his summer residence in the Troodos mountains to quarantine those who have been in contact with infected people but show no symptoms of Covid-19 virus.

Following a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that state-owned Troodos housing along with the president’s residence will host people that may be infected from the novel coronavirus.

Ioannou said three women currently in quarantine at Limassol hospital that tested negative for the Covid-19 virus will be transferred to Troodos.

Ioannou said the government will be using state property on Troodos after some communities objected to having quarantine units in their areas.

“We are also evaluating other venues and final decisions will be taken on Friday. We have three venues in mind if necessary,” he said.

The Health Minister added that during the cabinet meeting, Anastasiades proposed using parts of the presidential residence if necessary, a proposal which was accepted.

“It conveys a message to everyone, and the communities when the First Citizen of the Republic provides accommodation at his holiday home to be used to confine people who are asymptomatic. It is an example to follow.” Ioannou said.

He said the cabinet also approved increasing staff at the crossing points so that checks were more effective, applying the same protocols used at airports.

He added that the government will procure services from the private sector to have nurses posted at crossings for more effective control.

Ioannou said closing the crossings points had not been discussed so far.

Meanwhile, the passengers of a plane that arrived at Larnaca from Milan on Wednesday went through a separate gate at the airport and then through a specially designed area where they were assessed.

The flight was carrying a group of Cypriot school kids who were in Milan on an Erasmus exchange program with their teachers.

They were called back after the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy.

Ioannou, who visited Larnaca International Airport for their arrival said everyone underwent medical checks and did not show any symptoms.

They were instructed self-isolate at home for 14-days and inform medical authorities if any symptoms appear.

All passengers of the flight “filled the questionnaire, fortunately, no one had any symptoms, and they departed,” the minister said.

He said everyone coming in from high-risk countries – China, South Korea, Italy, Japan and Iran — will have to complete these forms.

Based on their replies, the medical staff stationed at the airport will investigate further if necessary.