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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-12-31

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, December 31, 1999

Ready for the bug

YESTERDAY'S papers focussed on the notorious Y2K bug, and the preparations made by the various services to be ready to handle any emergencies that may arise. They also reported on the serious problems faced by the blood banks, and the dangers this poses to patients.

Simerini reported on police readiness to handle possible problems that may arise due to the Y2K bug. It quoted Deputy Operations Chief Andreas Stefanou asserting the police was ready to handle any problems caused by the bug. The police, Stefanou said, had prepared plans to tackle any problem after the midnight of December 31, and on the next few days. All leave has been suspended, and those not on duty will be on call. Stefanou said police had successfully tested their helicopters and patrol boats and did not expect any problems. On New Year's Eve, police will be patrolling the streets, and will be on stand-by to handle traffic light failures, he said.

Reporting on the same issue, Alithia said that ministers too would be on stand-by on New Year's Eve to handle possible problems which fall under the jurisdiction of their respective ministries. According to a government announcement quoted in the newspaper, all high- risk services like hospitals, banks, and airlines, have reported to be Y2K compliant, therefore Cyprus will step into the new millennium without expecting any serious problems. All services, says Alithia, have drafted emergency plans to handle any unpleasant situations arising during the change over and on the following days.

Alithia also reported that Cyprus Airways was ready to deal with the Y2K bug. All electronic systems, the paper says, have been successfully tested, and the International Airline Association has ranked Cyprus Airways among those companies which will not be facing any problems after the year change over. Cyprus Airways have already carried out a flight simulating the change to the year 2000 without any problem. Despite this, says the newspaper, the company will carry out another two test flights on the morning of January 1, 2000, before the company's first commercial flight. During New Year's Eve, a group of 70 technicians will be checking the company's electronic systems on the ground.

Phileleftheros yesterday reported on the shortages faced by the blood bank. The newspaper claims that the blood banks were faced with serious problems because of blood shortages, bad organisation, and the lab technician strike. These problems says Phileleftheros, endanger the lives of patients, especially those suffering from Thalassaemia, who need regular blood transfusions. The blood banks' director told the newspaper that scheduled transfusions for at least 20 such patients had almost been cancelled on Wednesday because of shortages. The newspaper asserts that 350 bottles of blood have to be secured by blood banks across Cyprus by today, for them to be able to cover needs.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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