The four crossing points closed as a precaution against coronavirus outbreak will remain closed until the coming Monday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Thursday, adding the ministerial committee on Monday will evaluate the situation and take the appropriate decisions.
Ioannou briefed the National Council which evaluated the situation concerning the COVID-19 outbreak including the decision to suspend the operation of four crossing points to and from the government-controlled areas.
“Yesterday the Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 decided that the measure to temporarily suspend the operation of (the four) crossing points will continue until next Monday when the committee will convene to evaluate the situation,” he said in statements to the press following the meeting.
He added that the situation is being evaluated on a daily basis and decisions are taken accordingly.
Ioannou reiterated that there is “no political consideration” behind the decision to suspend the operation of the four crossing points, noting that these are urgent measures as precaution due coronavirus.
“The Institute of Neurology and Genetics has carried out examinations to 49 persons with no positive results so far.”
“We are obliged to implement to the crossing points the same checks that are being carried out to the airports,” he said.
Ioannou also explained that the decision to suspend the operation of the four crossing points was taken given the availability of hospital staff to carry out the checks.
He said the Ministry launched a call for interest from private nurse practitioners but received limited interest and then called for the expression of interest from the staff in public hospitals to work overtime carrying out checks at the crossing points.
“The interest received could respond to three crossing points and this is why we took the decision,” the Minister explained.
Furthermore, Ioannou said that so far, the Institute of Neurology and Genetics has carried out examinations to 49 persons with no positive results so far.
Responding to a question on thermal imaging cameras, Ioannou said two devices have been installed to the island’s airports, noting that the Ministry has launched the procedure to obtain ten cameras to be installed to the crossing points. But he added that the process is stalled as experts say thermal imaging cameras in open spaces have a large margin for error and the Ministry will clarify the issue before ordering additional cameras.
He also noted that due to global overdemand, the cameras could not be delivered before April 10.