articles | 23 March 2020

Coronavirus: Universities placing all their resources at disposal of the government

Universities in Cyprus are placing all their resources at the disposal of the government in support of the fight against the coronavirus, it was announced on Friday.

In a unanimous resolution issued after Thursday’s extraordinary online meeting of university rectors, it was decided to offer the institutions’ tangible and intangible resources to the state, in support of any measures which it may decide on.

The statement expressed the wish of the universities to complete the current spring semester according to the academic calendar as it was announced to the students at the beginning of the academic year.

The rectors assured their students that their academic path and their health and safety are a top priority for the tertiary institutions.

They also stated they have responded to the need to continue to provide quality education by implementing distance learning, utilising online and digital tools.

The meeting was attended by the European University, Frederick University, Cyprus Technological University, Open University of Cyprus, University of Nicosia, UCLan, University of Neapolis and the University of Cyprus.

In the meantime head of virology at the University of Cyprus Leo Kostrikis who is currently involved with advising the government about the situation has said he is ready to offer laboratory tests for the coronavirus.

The professor said he has already sent a letter to the minister of health informing him.

As Kostrikis explained, “the university made the laboratory available to the ministry of health from the first moment but so far no cooperation has resulted.” Right now, “with the growing need for lab tests we declare we are ready to help. My view is that laboratory tests should be started by other laboratories as well, because this is the only way to get a complete picture of the spread of coronavirus.”

The University of Cyprus professor added “to my knowledge private labs in Nicosia provide this service, and I was informed that a private hospital laboratory is being prepared to offer these tests.”

Asked if reagents are available on the market after the ministry of health has officially announced that there is a lack of reagents internationally, the professor said that “other methods are being used for the coronavirus.”

“I think there is an attempt to save the reagents, which is strange in my view. Patients should be tested again to confirm that the coronavirus is not present. I don’t know why this tactic is followed. My view is that we must make use of what is available in Cyprus, also in the private sector, in order to properly monitor the situation,” he concluded.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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