More Cypriots are resisting government plans aimed at establishing a local quarantine facility for the coronavirus, while foreign officials warn the Wuhan outbreak may be reaching pandemic levels.
Health Ministry officials in the Republic of Cyprus are still scrambling to find a location where suspected carriers of the coronavirus could remain isolated for the duration of the CoViD-19 incubation period in case of high risk incidents.
Plans to establish a quarantine facility near Kannavia, a mountain community in Nicosia district, fell through last week due to local resistance, with the government turning their attention to Kyperounda, a mountain village in Limassol district.
But local residents in Kyperounda are fighting back, arguing that people would not want to visit the hospital or their community if a quarantine facility was established in their area.
But time is running out as fear spreads over a possible pandemic over a bug that is not yet fully understood
Officials have identified an old residence in Kyperounda, used occasionally by the hospital director in Troodos, as a possible facility to house suspected carriers of the coronavirus. The plan was based on a guideline issued by the World Health Organization.
The government says it has an obligation to establish a quarantine facility in order to comply with international health guidelines, adding that such an establishment would not pose any health risks to local communities.
But a representative of Kyperounda made it clear according to media reports that local residents “would not accept this” and added that there were other buildings on the island that could be used.
In case residents refuse to accept the government's plan, the state could potentially have the right to enforce the decision via an emergency order. Kyperounda locals said the building would need months of renovation work before it could be ready.
But time is running out as fear spreads over a possible pandemic over a bug that is not yet fully understood.
Questions over incubation period
The incubation period for CoViD-19 has been typically described as two weeks, based on another coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which was 14 days. But new reports and data suggested the novel coronavirus incubation period could be longer.
A woman in Cyprus, who was on board a private evacuation flight from Japan to Israel, has been quarantined upon landing on the island after she was in close proximity with an Israeli woman who tested positive after being quarantined on a cruise ship for 14 days.
Israeli officials insisted that the coronavirus carrier, who tested positive in Israel, was not infected inside that country.
While the coronavirus CoViD-19 is officially classified as a global health emergency, it has the potential to become a pandemic if countries fail to work together to slow the spread, WHO officials said on Monday.
WHO insists that the word “pandemic” would only spread fear, adding that the world ought to “focus on containment, while doing everything we can to prepare for a potential pandemic.”
An official health minsitry meeting was scheduled Tuesday with the state's epidemiological moniroting unit, tasked with evaluating current health protocols in Cyprus.