Cyprus Teams With Israeli Hospitals, Clinics in COVID-19 Fight

Αssociated press

A woman talks on her cell phone as she leaves the Nicosia General Hospital in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA - Cyprus and Israel will share treatment methods and other technology, science and approaches to dealing with the ravages of the COVID-19 Coronavirus that has locked down much of the world.

In a joint statement, Cyprus Minister of Health, Constantinos Ioannou, and Israeli Ambassador  Shmuel Revel said, “The successful partnership between the two countries in the health field, significant in normal times, is even more vital in this time of emergency,” The Financial Mirror reported.

The first step, they said, would be the exchange of treatment techniques between the Sheba Medical Centre and the Famagusta General Hospital– as well as with Nicosia General Hospital Intensive Care Unit.

“Through a joint effort and Israeli logistical assistance, 5 tons of API Chloroquine was imported from India. Together with existing stocks, this joint effort will ensure that we will have at our disposal very important quantities of Chloroquine needed for patients in Cyprus and in Israel,” referring to a drug whose efficacy has been disputed.

Ioannou and Revel said that as the two countries “continue to face substantial challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, we will continue to explore every possibility to further enhance the cooperation between our countries.”

Already among countries with one of the lowest number of cases in the world, the number of COVID-19 Coronavirus infections on Cyprus has begun to even off during an essential lockdown imposed to prevent the spread.

Restrictions included social distancing to keep people apart when they’re out on permissible trips such as shopping for food and other essential tasks although most all businesses have been closed for now.

“Today’s numbers are encouraging due to the success of lockdown measures,” said health official Dr. Leontios Kostrikis announcing 19 new COVID-19 cases on April 6, The Cyprus Mail reported, with 465 cases by that point, including 10 on British military bases, and nine deaths since the pandemic had hit.