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The two measures on the table due to the increase in cases in China

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The meeting between the Minister of Health and the Scientific Advisory Committee, regarding the rapid increase in cases in China, ended without any decisions.  

< p>According to information, the two measures put on the table are the reinstatement of the use of masks on flights, as well as the travel restrictions for those coming from China to Cyprus, as they will have to undergo PCR.

At the same time , due to other meetings with European committees intervening, where there will be coordination of actions, final decisions will be made next Tuesday, January 10.

Until next Tuesday, it is expected to evaluate all the data as well as the actions from the rest of the European countries.  

In addition, the meeting evaluated the state of the epidemiological picture in the community. 

In his statements after the meeting at the Ministry of Health, Mr. Hadjipantela said that he informed the members of the Commission about the talks he had with the regional director of the World Health Organization, with the director of the Italian Center for Infections and with the Commissioner Health of the European Union, Stella Kyriakidou. From his conversations with the three officials, he noted, “it is clear that at this particular moment, the specific mutant strain of the coronavirus that was presented in China, has been present in Cyprus since August 2020, so there is no reason to panic at this particular moment.”

He also said that it was decided at the meeting to study the data in the coming days, after the two meetings at the level of the European Commission – one was scheduled today and the other, for tomorrow, Tuesday – where more data will be given to the partners of the Ministry of Health. “We will have a meeting next Tuesday at 3.00 in the afternoon to study further and if we should take any measures”, he added. America, “it is a mutation that we also know about in our country and are studying it very carefully”.

On the same subject, Dr. Georgios Panos, in his statements, on behalf of the advisory committee, said that with regard to a strain that exists in America, “at the moment we know that it has 20% greater transmissibility, but it is a good strain, so we are not worried about the medical side of things”.

He also said that there was “an extensive review” of the data with all the proposals that came up and after a list of situations has been studied, the Commission will meet again in a week to make more concrete decisions.

“The Cyprus is currently well prepared, the executives who circulate both in China and in Europe are executives known to the Ministry of Health, and there is readiness in terms of their development”, he added.

He noted that the Commission “has drawn up a series of considerations”, and that, in a week, there will be another meeting, “so that definite measures can be taken which may be enacted if the  situations are such as to require them”. So far, he added, “things remain on a smooth course, we are happy with the data of the Republic of Cyprus and the Ministry of Health, so we will proceed with this and review in a week”.

He talks about coordinated reaction the EU

European Union government health officials will hold talks on Wednesday on a coordinated response to China's surge in COVID-19 infections, the Swedish EU presidency said on Monday, as December talks ended without decisions on the issue.&nbsp ; 

In a similar meeting on December 29 held online with more than 100 representatives of EU governments, EU health agencies and the World Health Organization, Italy urged the rest of the Union to follow its lead and screen travelers from China over COVID, with Beijing poised to lift travel restrictions on January 8.

However, other member states said they saw no need to do so despite China's decision to ease restrictions of the pandemic amid a wave of new infections.

European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakidou said in a letter to EU Governments on 29 December that they should immediately consider scaling up the genomic sequencing of COVID-19 infections and the monitoring of sewage, including at airports, to detecting any new variants given the surge in infections in China.

Ms Kyriakidou said the bloc would have to be “very cautious” as reliable epidemiological and testing data for China are minimal, advising EU health ministers to assess their current practices on genomic sequencing of the coronavirus “as an immediate step”.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said last week that it does not recommend current measures for travelers from China.

He said that the variants circulating in China are already in the European Union, that EU citizens have relatively high levels of vaccination and that the potential for imported infections is low compared to everyday infections in the EU, with healthcare systems responding adequately at present.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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