TCC Press Review 21 Mar 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Careful please!

The lack of measures during the process of placing citizens, mainly students, arriving from abroad in central quarantine facilities drew attention. We have all seen what is happening at Salamis Bay Hotel when quarantine procedures are not implemented correctly. This is how Yenidüzen’s reporter captured students being taken into the Güneş Residence (Dormitory) on his camera.

  • Eight new cases in the south – Eight more people in the south tested positive for coronavirus. While half of those who tested positive were health staff, three are from the public hospital in Paphos, one from the public hospital in Limassol. A police officer in the north who had a fever tested negative for the virus. Some media outlets and people on social media spread false and speculative reports that the police officer had coronavirus.
  • Good news. Treatment of three patients completed – Health Minister Ali Pilli announced that three patients with coronavirus had recovered and had tested negative. The three will be discharged today. (Saturday)
  • Ten per cent discount to electricity in the south – It was announced in the south that electricity prices will be reduced by ten per cent for two months. It was also announced that this period could be extended.
  • “Commercial life will be separated into pre-Covid-19 and post Covid-19” – We asked leading businesspersons and economists what to expect in the future.
  • Applauds for health workers –Thousands of citizens applauded health workers, doctors and nurses from their homes and balconies at 8 pm last night (Friday) for their efforts to treat patients and contain the spread of coronavirus.

Kıbrıs Postası

Ceased print/Online only

Kıbrıs

Our lives are in danger! Take measures!

The port workers are outraged over the authorities’ failure not to provide implement necessary protective measures against coronavirus at the Famagusta Port, the largest seaport in the north. The workers say that those who arrive from abroad wander freely about the port area. Customs Officers’ Union (GÜÇ-SEN) Famagusta representative Ertuğrul Toroslu said the imports into the north have dropped drastically and added the customs officers now process about 25 shipments per day compared to 200 at normal times.

  • ₺4m (approx. €570,000) allocated for the fund against the virus – The finance ministry is preparing a three-month-long economic package to mitigate the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic both for the public and the finance sectors. 
  • PM Tatar: “We have asked for assistance from Turkey.
  • The number of cases in the TRNC dropped to 30 from 33. Three to be discharged.
  • Eight new cases in the south. The total number of cases rose to 75.
  • Coronavirus claims nine lives in Turkey. There are 670 cases now.

Havadis

Quarantine chaos

Güneş Residence Student Dormitory was converted into a quarantine centre for Turkish Cypriot students that arrived from abroad without vacating the dorm fully. The students staying at the dorm were outraged.

  • Palm Beach hotel takes on the responsibility – The Palm Beach Hotel in Famagusta has become a quarantine centre for the TRNC citizens arriving from abroad.
  • Three people recovered from coronavirus in the north – The struggle against the coronavirus continues on both sides of the island.
  • Turkish Cypriot youth on their way back home – Adil Bey, President of the Turkish Cypriot Students’ Federation said nearly 300 students will return home today (Saturday) and in isolation.
  • New peacekeepers to be quarantined for 14 days – UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) said it maintains contact with the two sides on the island regarding Covid-19 and announced the measures it adopted.

Diyalog

This is not the way to go

The discretionary funds of the Office of the President, Speaker of the Parliament, Finance and Tourism Ministries have all been transferred but no one has touched the financial assistance given to political parties. The economic measures are not enough. ₺13.5m (approx €1.9m) has been allocated to political parties in the 2020 state budget. That money should be used to pay those left without work or for health purposes during this time of crisis. The public is expecting the government to adopt more comprehensive austerity measures without losing any more time.

  • New queue practice at supermarkets start – Some supermarkets in North Cyprus have started allowing customers into stores in turn.
  • Turkey has stopped accepting patients from the TRNC. Don’t send them
  • The figure in the north dropped to 30 after three patients were discharged. The numbers in the south have gone up to 75 with eight new cases.

Afrika

672 deaths in Italy in one day

The world gripped by coronavirus is struggling. Deaths rising rapidly. The number of deaths in Italy from coronavirus hit 627 in a single day, rising above China where the virus originated. As a result, the total number of deaths in Italy has reached 4032. Total figures, infected and dead in the country have reached 47,021.

  • Is this how a quarantine should be? – A German citizen in quarantine at Salamis hotel questions the quarantine rules. “We can go out, we go swimming, we take strolls around the hotel and on the beach. We feed the dogs and cats with our leftovers,” she said.
  • Eight new cases in the south –The total number of coronavirus cases in the south reached 5 yesterday (Friday) with eight new confirmed cases. With 33 cases in the north, the total number on the island reached 108.
  • UN soldiers also under quarantine – UN Peacekeeping troops who arrive in Cyprus under kept in isolation for 14-days.
  • Police officer tests negative – A police officer from Famagusta bought to the State Hospital in Nicosia tested negative for coronavirus.

Main News

Three patients recover, authorities scramble to implement quarantine conditions

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Internal Security, Governance and Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

Health Minister Ali Pilli announced on Friday that three patients receiving treatment for coronavirus had recovered and that the latest tests on all three had come back negative.

Pilli announced that the three will be discharged on Saturday. 

Turkish Cypriot Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay announced on Friday that assistance would be given to the Turkish Cypriots living in Pile (Pyla).

He added restrictions to them crossing to the north would lead to several problems since many worked, shopped and sought medical assistance in the north.

Özersay said that the ambulance and medical team stationed in Akdoğan (Lysi), would also provide health services to Pile (Pyla).

He also said that food aid packages will be prepared and would be distributed in cooperation with Pile’s (Pyla) Turkish Cypriot community leader.

Until Wednesday, the Turkish Cypriot residents of the mixed village were exempt from restrictions imposed to those crossing to the north, when it was announced that they too, will be subject to central quarantine when they cross over.

Özersay also said that a police officer from Famagusta, who had been taken to the hospital in Nicosia with a fever had tested negative for the coronavirus.

Regarding the measures in place, Özersay said that the authorities were doing all that was possible to ensure that the public, as well as those on duty, were safe.

He said that they were trying to ensure that the measures were being implemented but added that it was ultimately up to the people themselves to follow the rules.

“It’s not possible to keep everyone under watch. Everyone should acknowledge how important their responsibilities are,” he added.

Concerning the central quarantine facilities, Özersay said that no one should expect any privileges.

“We are placing people where we can. This is not an easy process. We may have to make concessions from our luxuries but of course not from our health or necessities.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said the government is working on preparing an economic package in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders.

Tatar, in a written statement on Friday, Tatar added that they were also in touch with Turkey for any financial assistance they could get

“We are now working on calculating the state revenues…We have to calculate everything to the smallest detail,” Tatar said.

He noted that he has already had discussions with the trade unions, the business community, tourism professionals and the bank representatives in the meantime and vowed to announce an economic package that will be fair for all soon.

Meanwhile, UN Peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) announced on Friday that it continues its activities whilst taking steps to protect its staff from Covid-19.

“UNFICYP continues its operations and our peacekeepers maintain their patrols in the buffer zone and remain engaged with both sides,” UNFICYP spokesman Aleem Siddique said in a statement on Friday.

He also noted that the UN mission has stepped up its measures to protect the peacekeepers and to prevent the potential spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Siddique stressed that all new peacekeepers will undergo a 14-days of isolation before they start their work on the field and the civilian staff are working from their homes.

Regarding the ongoing UNFICYP operations, the spokesman said UNFICYP continues to make every effort to ensure that necessary humanitarian deliveries to affected individuals living in the north continue.

“The mission is also working with both sides to ensure that medical emergencies are facilitated to the extent possible within these difficult times. We continue to be in close contact with the sides, facilitating the exchange of information as the situation evolves,” Siddique concluded.

In the meantime, religious leaders in Cyprus said they were joined in prayer to fight coronavirus on Friday.

In a written statement issued by the “The Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process” (RTCPP), the leaders of the main religious groups also called on everyone to join with their prayers to overcome the pandemic.

The religious leaders urged the communities of all the faiths to strictly follow the advice and directives issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and state health authorities, remain responsible and hopeful without succumbing to fear and panic.

Akıncı in a statement on Friday updated the public on the Turkish Cypriot students who had arrived via the south.

“One Turkish Cypriot student who arrived at the Larnaca airport and two others, who were at the quarantine centre at Troodos have crossed to the north were placed in a quarantine centre in the north,” Akıncı said.

He thanked the members of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Health for arranging the transfer of the students to the north.

He also welcomed the Turkish Cypriot students were set to arrive in the north in the early hours of Saturday through charter flights.

In a separate statement issued earlier, Akıncı highlighted the importance of the local administrations to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Akıncı expressed his appreciation for the efforts undertaken by some of the municipalities to assist the elderly in their areas of jurisdiction as well as establishing food-supply centres for the vulnerable groups and the elderly.

“I strongly believe the Union of Municipalities can organize similar activities throughout all the local administrations,” Akıncı concluded.