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Cyprus Steps Up Coronavirus Screening at Airport for High-Risk Countries

March 8, 2020

NICOSIA – After reports criticizing how the coronavirus is being screened at the international airport at Larnaca, Health Ministry officials on Cyprus said all travelers from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Singapore, Hong Kong and Northern Italy are being checked.

Those are countries where the virus, now called COVID-19, has been especially prevalent and deadly as the number of cases around the world has soared and Cyprus already introduced quarantine measures despite no cases being confirmed.

Passengers from high-risk countries will be taken by immigration services officers to examination rooms at the airport to assess their condition by health professionals, who take their temperature and record their medical history, said in-Cyprus.

Any of those passengers not presenting symptoms are instructed to self-isolate at home for 14 days but it wasn’t said how that could be enforced or would be followed up or if there’s any method to determine what would happen otherwise.

Passengers from other countries are technically required to tell officials whether they had traveled to the high-risk areas in the previous two weeks so they too can be subjected to precautionary screening.

Health checks are also conducted on people who report coming into contact with verified coronavirus patients or who present symptoms compatible with a respiratory infection such as a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

The same procedure is followed at all entry points of the Republic, including checkpoints, that involves the answering of a questionnaire to establish whether screening is needed and as four of the crossings between Cyprus and the occupied area seized by Turkey in an unlawful 1974 invasion have been closed down despite protests.

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