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Cyprus

Coronavirus: North says will be at least two months before crossings open

It will be at least two months before crossings open, authorities in the north said on Tuesday while announcing that all Covid-19 patients there have recovered.

According to authorities in the north there are currently no Covid-19 patients.

It’s been almost a month since no new cases were announced in the north with authorities saying on Tuesday of the 108 cases detected so far, 104 have recovered while four people died.

The last Covid-19 patient, an 83-year-old man who was treated in hospital was discharged on Monday with applause.

“I came here as if I was dead,” the man said before thanking all healthcare workers treating him.

‘Health minister’ Ali Pilli said however, that the struggle continues and called on people to continue to follow the measures against the spread of coronavirus.

As regards the crossings, ‘deputy prime minister’ Kudret Ozersay reportedly said there is no wish to keep them closed except for health concerns.

According to Turkish Cypriot media, Ozersay said there is no intention of obstructing the economy or human relations.

“It is clear, however, that we will not take a step that will risk public health,” he said. He argued that based on the latest statements by government spokesman Kyriacos Koushios, it does not seem the Greek Cypriot side would agree to let people cross without being quarantined.

On the plight of Turkish Cypriots living in the north but working in the south and who are currently unable to go to work, he said it is not possible to just let them cross to go to work.

“Solutions to this problem must be proposed,” he said.

The workers, who call themselves ‘Those who work in the south’ held a protest on Tuesday outside ‘parliament’ calling on ‘deputies’ to step in after ‘cabinet’ on Monday refused to give them permission to cross daily to go to work. They also threatened to take legal measures.

According to daily Yeni Duzen, ‘labour minister’ Faiz Sucuoglu said that it will be at least two months before it is possible for crossings to start operating again.

Sucuoglu also said that ‘cabinet’ would discuss the issue of the around 1,500 Turkish Cypriots working in the south and that they would be given an allowance in the form of a social contribution for two months. He reportedly said that those who are married would receive 1,200 Turkish lira (€157) and singles 900 TL (€118).

In the meantime, hairdressers also held a protest on Tuesday outside ‘parliament’.

They reportedly reacted to that they will only be allowed to offer haircuts and hair treatments but not other services such as manicures after they resume operations on May 20 which, they said, will not be enough to pay their expenses.

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