Surge in pandemic cases
The world is living through very difficult times. Not only in Turkey and Cyprus but everywhere on the planet, there is a very strong sense of depression, incapability, and at least in some of us, fear of death because of the pandemic. Some people are as adamant as ever and defy all restrictions, even avoiding wearing a mask outside.
Not only do they endanger their well-being, but at the same time pose a grave threat to public health. There is a new surge of coronavirus infections. Even though there is no adequate data available about the number of people infected with COVID-19, what we see around us does testify to a very bitter reality, which we might choose to ignore, that there is a new and bigger threat to public health.
Some people defend that it is their individual right to have or not to have a mask on their faces. Some argue and even quarrel with others telling them that not only do they risk themselves but put others at risk as well.
Some still have the mask as a decoration either on their arms or on their cheeks, with noses out. Sorry to say, but such an attitude goes beyond ignorance. We are not living in a time of compulsive egoism.
Public health must be a public concern with no exception. The new restrictive measures announced might help a bit to contain the surge.
Unfortunately, there is an absolute need for a two- to three-week lockdown to reduce losses faced during the pandemic.
Naturally, that would require immense economic and financial resources that not only in Turkey but in all countries have been running thin as economies have been under the strong impact of the pandemic since March.
The situation is not much different in Cyprus. While in the southern Greek Cypriot administered part of the island there is indeed a serious surge in the number of pandemic cases, in North Cyprus, due to the stringent measures and an effective application of hotel or home quarantine for everyone (excluding those with negative PCR document and who will not stay longer than three days on the island) arriving from abroad, there are far fewer cases, with just a fraction of them from the local population.
While in the Greek Cypriot part hospitals are having difficulty in coping with the pandemic conditions, in North Cyprus with Turkey’s help, not only were the existing state and private hospitals equipped sufficiently to serve pandemic patients, but a new pandemic hospital with 100 intensive care beds was also recently inaugurated and the construction of another 500-bed hospital is in the planning stage.
Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar offered help to the Greek Cypriot leadership last week, for example, that North Cyprus might accept up to 100 pandemic patients. Obviously, demonstrating why joint governance on Cyprus cannot be achieved, such a humanitarian call was even left unanswered by Nikos Anastasiadis. Too bad for him and his people.
North Cyprus, with measures in place, is not having many problems coping up with the pandemic, however pandemic hurts its economy.
Thus, not only because of the Greek Cyprus-imposed international, political, economic and social embargoes, but also the fight against pandemic is pushing North Cyprus toward firmer integration with Turkey.