Friday, February 28th 2020 2PM °C nicosia
03-02-2020 11:37 | Read 3581 times

Virus Alert

HEALTH organisations have raised concerns over the government’s ability to protect the public from the deadly coronavirus, as the island’s two leaders discussed the issue yesterday.

Virus Alert



President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades spoke on the phone after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a “global health emergency”.

They will attended a meeting of the Bicommunal Health Committee to discuss precautions at 6pm on Monday at the buffer-zone based Ledra Palace hotel.

The global death toll has risen to more than 200, with almost 10,000 cases found in China. Around 100 cases have been diagnosed in 18 other countries, including two in the UK, although none so far on the island of Cyprus.

Earlier in the week the TRNC Health Ministry announced that the“necessary measures” had been taken against the virus, including the introduction of thermal cameras to measure body temperature and an “isolation room” at Ercan airport.

ÇiğdemÇağa, head of the ministry’s Basic Health Department,said that medical staff had been deployed at the airport and confirmed that the cameras would sound an alarm if a fever – a symptom of coronavirus – was detected among travellers.

“Not everyone who has a fever has the virus,” she said. “The medical officers will question them and ask if they have been to China in the past 14 days.

“Anyone who could be infected will be given a special outfit and mask to wear before being taken by ambulance to the Barış Mental and Neurological Disorders Hospital where they will be kept in a specially prepared quarantine area.”

On TuesdayHealth Minister Ali Pili announcedthe measures to prevent the disease spreading to the TRNC following a second “risk evaluationcommittee” meeting at his department.

“We have been closely monitoring the situation since the virus first broke out in China before spreading to other countries,” he said.

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