Health services of Cyprus were set on alert after information that an Austrian Airlines’ aircraft that landed at the Larnaca airport had a passenger on board who may have been infected by the fatal Ebola virus.
Cypriot Health Minister Philippos Patsalis has announced that a man on board a flight from Vienna to Cyprus was examined upon his arrival in Larnaca and had no fever, contrary to earlier reports. Although, according to latest information, the suspected infected passenger is currently on a US monitoring program for possible Ebola infection.
Cypriot state authorities informed the US about the possible case when the Israeli national was en route and therefore, upon its arrival in Cyprus, the aircraft was immediately subjected to the Health Ministry’s plan designed for the prevention of an Ebola outbreak.
As the flight’s passengers revealed, no one informed them regarding the possible threat and they found out only when told by Cypriot media. “We were not even informed while at the airport, waiting for our luggage. The plane parked far away and someone came and brought us some forms to fill our data. We were even told that it is a procedural matter. After half an hour, we were released to go get our luggage. Again, no one informed us,” a passenger said to Cypriot news network “Sigmalive.”
The Israeli national was put under observation by US authorities some 21 days ago after a recent trip to an unnamed African country in which Ebola infection is high. Since last year, there have been several Ebola outbreak fears in Cyprus, although none of those examined resulted positive for the disease. It should be noted that the island has fully complied with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations concerning the fatal virus and its action plan to address the disease is ready to be activated when necessary.
Regarding the latest case, the Health Minister said that the man has requested to fly back to Vienna as he did not want to be placed in quarantine in Cyprus.