Turkish Cyprus largely slows spread of virus
Ömer Bilge - Lefkoşa
There has been a total of 180 confirmed cases with four fatalities, including two German tourists. Some 87 people have recovered from the disease and were discharged from hospitals, while only 17 patients with mild symptoms are receiving treatment in the island.
The first case in North Cyprus was reported in early March among a group of 32 German tourists. As the virus started to spread fast, the Turkish Cypriot government implemented strict measures.
Three hotels, where 815 Germans were staying, were put under quarantine, schools were closed on March 10 and stores were shut as part of the partial curfew, except for supermarkets and pharmacies.
Controls at port and border crossings have been tightened.
As a result of those measures, the authorities in the island managed to slow the spread of the virus with the medical advises and asistance provided by Turkey.
During this period, Turkish Cypriots have largely abided by the curbs, heeded social distancing rules and worn face masks.
The officials effectively implemented the “filiation” method to screen the chain of contacts in infectious diseases, therefore, if somebody tested positive, close contacts were also tested.
A majority of Turkish university students in the island have returned home, while strict measures were taken at the military bases.
The government provided 1,500 Turkish Lira financial support to some 60,000 employees.
However, Labor Minister Faiz Sucuoglu complained about abuses. “Many casino owners that make good money, have stopped paying salaries to their workers. Even people, who ride Mercedes and Porsche brand cars, are eyeing this 1,500-lira support. Such a shame. Let people with no income get this aid,” he said.