Health Ministry and experts propose negative PCR for passengers from China and other measures to contain COVID

The Ministry of Health will submit to the Cabinet, on Wednesday, a proposal according to which passengers from China will need to present a 48-hour negative PCR test upon their arrival in Cyprus. The decision was announced following a meeting of Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela, with the Scientific Advisory Committee, in Nicosia. Measures are in line with the latest epidemiological outlook and European Commission recommendations to contain COVID-19 variants, Hadjipantela said.

Speaking after the meeting, Hadjipantela said that the proposal to be submitted to the Cabinet on Wednesday, includes requesting a 48-hour negative PCR test for all passengers arriving in Cyprus from China, recommendations for the use of medical masks and strict observance of hygiene measures on all flights to Cyprus and in all indoor areas, random sample tests for passengers arriving in Cyprus and examination of sewage samples from airplanes and airports.

The Minister noted that there is no need for panic, as the epidemiological outlook is constantly monitored and if required by the situation, additional measures will be taken immediately.

Replying to a question about possible arrangements to accommodate voters with COVID during the presidential elections, the Minister said that all citizens should have the opportunity to vote, even those positive to COVID-19. He said that any arrangements will be announced soon, as the epidemiological outlook varies on a daily basis.

On behalf of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Dr Michalis Voniatis said that measures where decided unanimously and that they don’t aim at fully preventing the import of any new variant, but will allow better and timely monitoring, in order for the Ministry to apply the necessary measures to respond to a possible surge of cases. He added that monitoring does not only focus on passengers from China, but also applies to passengers that may be affected with the XBB1.5 strain from the USA. Concluding, he underlined the need for the use of medical masks in congested and indoor areas, especially by vulnerable groups.

Source: Cyprus News Agency