One more case of coronavirus was confirmed in the north on Wednesday, bringing the total to 95 so far.
In total 178 samples were tested on Wednesday of which one was positive. It concerns a person who arrived from abroad. So far three people with coronavirus have died in the north.
The repatriation of Turkish Cypriots will temporarily stop amid concerns that the arrival of people from abroad would further raise the number of coronavirus cases.
According to Turkish Cypriot media, ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar said on Tuesday that they were suspending all repatriation efforts for the time being in line with a recommendation by the Covid-19 team of experts in the north.
The last repatriation flight to the north is expected to arrive at midnight on Thursday.
Tatar said that around 1,000 people have been repatriated, including many students.
The head of the Covid-19 coordination council, Dr Sibel Siber recommended that the ‘government’ block all entry into the north for 15 days, arguing that all positive cases detected were either people who recently arrived from abroad or who had contact with these individuals.
Siber pointed out that authorities needed to take into consideration the limited number of intensive care units and quarantine facilities when deciding to repatriate more people.
In the meantime, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said he would have a meeting on Thursday with Tatar and his ‘deputy’ Kudret Ozersay to discuss the situation.
Akinci expressed optimism about the situation in the north so far but said there was no room for complacency.