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Coronavirus FAQ

For further information, please also view the public information videos produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding COVID-19.
Additionally, you can download a list of Government Hotlines concerning Coronavirus, in both Greek and English (pdf)

It is a new virus that was first identified in the city of Wuhan in China, in 2019. It belongs to the family of coronaviruses. Even though within the same family of coronaviruses there are several widespread viruses that cause a “common cold” – which is considered a non-life-threatening condition – this virus, as well as the genetically related SARS virus which emerged in 2002, usually cause a more severe clinical picture in patients.

The new coronavirus has recently been named SARS-CoV-2 to highlight its relation/similarity with the SARS virus which also caused severe problems. The virus disease was named COVID-19 based on the initials of the rona rus Disease which emerged in 2019.

The current epidemiological data indicate that the virus is transmitted via respiratory droplets or secretions which are produced while sneezing, coughing or breathing out. At this stage, it is still unclear if transmission can be airborne or fecal-oral.

It is crucial that anyone who coughs or sneezes, covers their faces with a paper towel, which is immediately disposed of after use, and washes their hands immediately.

Frequent washing of hands with soap and water is very important. If hands are not visibly dirty from secretions or other organic matter, one can also wash their hands with a 70% alcohol solution.

General preventive measures against the spread of respiratory viruses, including the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2):

Α. Personal hygiene guidelines:

• Stay at home and refrain from attending classes or working with anyone with symptoms of respiratory infection.
• Avoid close contact, whenever possible, with anyone with respiratory symptoms, such as cough or sneezing.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth to reduce the risk of infection.
• Avoid sharing pencils, pens, markers and other personal items.
• When coughing or sneezing, cover the nose and mouth with the sleeve at elbow height or with a tissue, and dispose the used tissue in the nearest trash bin, and thoroughly wash your hands.
• Regular and thorough washing of hands with liquid soap and water, for at least 20 seconds’, before eating and after visiting the bathroom, and carefully dry your hands with disposable paper towels.
• As an alternative to washing your hands, hand spraying with an antiseptic alcohol solution can be applied or antiseptic wipes. The bottle with the antiseptic liquid should be near the exit of the classroom.

Β. Cleaning and disinfection instructions:

• Regular and effective ventilation of all areas, especially during breaks between lectures.
• In addition to regular cleaning, frequent cleaning of widely used surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, handles, ladders or railing, taps, etc.) with common cleaners, i.e. liquid soap and water, or household bleach/chlorine 10% (1-part household chlorine diluted in 10-parts of water) or alcohol antiseptics.
• Use disposable gloves and cleaning uniforms.
• The use of disposable gloves does not in any way replace washing of hands.

Like other respiratory infections, the new coronavirus can cause mild respiratory disease symptoms such as rhinorrhea (runny nose), sore throat, cough and fever. Some people, though, might present more severe symptoms which can cause pneumonia or shortness of breath and the patient might need to be hospitalized. More rarely it can cause death. The people who are more vulnerable to the virus and at increased risk for serious illness from it, are elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, and heart disease.

Incubation time is the period between a person’s exposure to the virus until the onset of their symptoms. Even though the median duration of incubation time is 5 – 6 days, it can range from 2 – 14 days.

This is not fully known, yet. There are some preliminary data indicating that the virus can survive for a few hours or longer. The virus is easily destroyed by common antiseptics.

So far, we know that the virus can be transmitted during the period a patient presents with symptoms of the disease. However, there are some things that remain unknown, as to whether patients with very mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all, can also transmit the disease.

Yes, it is safe. People who receive packages from China are at no risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, we know that these viruses do not survive for long on objects like letters or packages.

The virus can cause mild flu-like symptoms, such as:
• Fever
• Cough
• Muscle and joint pains
• Fatigue
• Shortness of breath

Most patients present with mild symptoms. In more serious cases, patients can develop severe pneumonia, severe respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, which can even lead to death.

coronavirus or something else

No, antibiotics cannot protect you from viruses. Antibiotics can protect you from bacteria. This specific pathogen is a virus; therefore, antibiotics do not have any effect.

According to the updated definition of the ECDC, the Cyprus Ministry of Health, and the Greece National Health Organization a patient should present with:
Acute respiratory infection (sudden onset of disease, with at least one of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath), with or without the need for hospitalization, and at least one of the following epidemiological criteria, within the last 14 days immediately preceding the onset of symptoms:

• Close contact with potential or confirmed disease case or
• Travel history to countries with an increased number of cases, and continuous transmission within the community.

In general, elderly people and people with underlying chronic conditions (e.g. hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, liver disease, and chronic respiratory diseases) are more likely to develop severe symptoms.

A person who has had contact with the virus is a person who does not currently appear symptoms of the disease, and may have had contact with a patient infected with the virus. This patient might have clinical disease symptoms or be asymptomatic.

There is no specific cure for the virus. The treatment that is provided is supportive (if necessary: respiratory support, fluid or antiviral medications, which do not yet have a confirmed effect against the virus).

• A person who was in an indoor space with a patient for less than 15’ or at a distance longer than 2 meters.
• A person who had face-to-face contact with a patient (at a distance less than 2 meters) but for less than 15’.
• A person residing in an area where there is an increased number of incidents and continuous transmission within it (see paragraph 20).

• A person residing in the same place as a patient
• A person who had direct physical contact with the patient (e.g. by handshake)
• A person who was exposed to infectious biological secretions of the patient without protective measures (e.g. at a short distance from the patient when he/she coughed or had contact with used tissues).
• A person who had face-to-face contact with a person infected with the virus at a distance of < 2 meters for longer than 15’.
• A person who was in an indoor space (e.g. classroom, conference/meeting room, hospital waiting room, etc.) with an infected person for 15’ or longer, and at a distance of < 2 meters.
• A health professional or other health care provider of a person – a confirmed case of the virus, without the recommended protective measures.
• A person in an aircraft cabin seated at a distance of two-four rows from a patient of the virus, travelers or cabin crew members in the aircraft section where the patient was seated. If the patient used more areas of the cabin, the number of people exposed to close contact with the patient may be increased.

• Self-isolation at home and avoiding close contact with other people, as should be done in cases of the flu for 14 days after their last exposure to the risk or their departure from the country.
• Instructions for self-monitoring for their temperature and other potential COVID-19 symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath during this time.

It should be noted that people, irrespective of whether their exposure is considered high or low risk, must be voluntarily isolated and contact health services should any symptoms arise within 14 days from their last exposure to the risk.

If no symptoms appear within 14 days from their last exposure to the risk, the person is no longer considered a potential COVID-19 patient.
According to the latest update by the Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation, each case of a person dismissed from work due to low or high-risk exposure to the new coronavirus, as long as he/she holds the appropriate certificate issued by the Ministry of Health, his/her absence will be handled as if it was a leave due to illness.

Self-isolation and active monitoring by Public Health Authorities for a period of 14 days after the last exposure to the disease.

• Daily monitoring for symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.
• Instructions to avoid social contacts.
• Instructions to avoid traveling or public transport.

You may find the latest announcements on the subject, issued by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus, here:

See Travel Guidance page for updates

All trips to other countries can be carried out normally. After arriving to Cyprus, you return to work and your normal social life.

However, we must be cautious and keep up to date with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ announcements because the list of countries with increases virus incidence may change.

Also, during our journey we should adhere to strict personal hygiene rules (ventilation of rooms/spaces, frequent and regular washing of hands, keeping reasonable distance from people with respiratory infections, etc.). If you have been in close contact with a patient during your trip, you should call 1420 on arrival to Cyprus for instructions.

Please note that a hotline for finding out information related to Coronavirus (not for reporting cases, which is 1420) is available on two numbers: 1450 and 1412.

See Travel Guidance page for updates

According to categorization of the Country (Cat. A, Cat. B, and Cat. C) you will take the measures indicate in the latest press relase from the government.

Please note that a hotline for finding out information related to Coronavirus (not for reporting cases, which is 1420) is available on two numbers: 1450 and 1412.

  • They should automatically leave the area and isolate themselves in a space away from others.
  • They should inform accordingly their supervisior, the OHS office and the HR office.
  • They should notify 1420 and inform them of their symptoms and their travel history.

Please note that a hotline for finding out information related to Coronavirus (not for reporting cases, which is 1420) is available on two numbers: 1450 and 1412.

Here you can read the press release for this topic with an explanation of the process, for your convenience the steps to be followed are the following:

  1. Compile this document
  2. Attach a copy of:
    1. Identification Card,
    2. Alien Registration Card or another identification document,
    3. Person’s medical card,
  3. Send all the documents:
    1. by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    2. or by post to: 1 Prodromou and 17 Chilonos, 1449 Lefkosia
    3. or by hand to the Medical Card Sector, Ministry of Health, 1 Prodromou and 17 Chilonos, Lefkosia
  4. After carrying out a validity check for the application and upon its approval, the Ministry of Health will activate the applicant’s possibility to register on the COVID-19 Vaccinations Portal.
  5. The applicant shall be informed of the Ministry of Health’s decision to approve or reject his/her request, so as to access the COVID-19 Vaccinations Online Portal in order to arrange an appointment for the vaccination, at a Vaccination Centre, at the date and time of his/her convenience.