GCC Press Review 23 Mar 2020

Front Page Headlines


They acted immediately and tamed the virus

Specialists from three countries share their experiences with “P”. Taiwan’s example showed the importance of taking measures immediately. Speed in detecting and isolating patients is key.

  • Greece: Restriction of movement (curfew)


We worsen dangerously

Numbers grow and with them the anxiety for the day after – New decisions today. 97 confirmed patients, 27 health professionals among them, 5 people in Intensive Care Units, 13 at the reference hospital.

  • The greatest shock since 1975: Stone years period comes for the economy
  • Prime minister’s address: Curfew in Greece starting today
  • Pandemic causes debate in occupied areas
  • Developments put break on CMP’s work


More measures against the spread of the virus

Perhaps stricter for gatherings. Church a state within a state over services. Partial paralysis in Limassol and Paphos hospitals.

  • Movement restriction in Greece


Cypriots toed the line

We obeyed ministerial decrees for measures against the transmission and spread of the coronavirus. From the first day of the implementation of ministerial decrees, March 11, up to yesterday, March 22, the Police carried out more than 11,000 checks during which only 32 infractions were found.

Main News

First coronavirus death in Cyprus as cases in south reach 95

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
CBMs, Internal Security, Human Rights


The dailies report that coronavirus cases in the government controlled areas are now up to 95 after 11 additional cases were identified on Sunday, as well as that the first death in Cyprus was recorded on Saturday. Politis reports that 50 of the overall cases were a result of interpersonal contact. A total of 38 people have been infected in the north, the dailies also report.

The new cases were announced through a press release as the two epidemiologists tasked with informing the public had to self quarantine, after it was confirmed that they had come in contact with an infected person.

Haravgi reports that on Saturday a British man with preexisting medical conditions that had been infected passed away. The man had originally been a patient at Paphos General Hospital.

Politis reports that the epidemiologists were unable to track the provenance of one of the 11 new cases. This is the third such case found in the government controlled areas. The newspaper points out that such “orphan” cases are particularly worrisome since it indicates that the virus hasn’t yet been effectively contained.

Haravgi reports that the ministerial committee on dealing with the coronavirus will be meeting in the morning and that new measures could be announced later on Monday.

Meanwhile, newspapers report that on Saturday five persons were able to leave the hospital since they had succesfully recuperated.

Politis also reports that the Pancyprian Doctor Association (PIS) suggested through a letter to the Minister for Health that the authorities should not only be testing people that have been abroad and that suspected cases should be sent directly to the coronavirus medical centers. Also, the authorities should take into account and test all people with respiratory problems even if they are not yet affected by the coronavirus.

The newspaper also reports that after the death of the the elderly British man in Paphos, another three people are in critical condition in Limassol General Hospital. One of them is a 47-year-old with no prior medical conditions.

Politis also reports that the T/C “government” announced it will impose a curfew in the north for the next 14 days. People will be banned from going out except for going to the supermarket, the pharmacy, for gas or to the bank.

Phileleftheros and Alithia report on the political disagreement brought about by T/C leader Mustafa Akinci’s decision to visit T/C students that are in quarantine since returning to the north. T/C “prime minister” and “presidential” candidate Ersin Tatar commented on the visit by Akinci to the university hall where the students are set to be quarantined, by wondering why Akinci went there first thing in the morning.

According to the newspaper, Akinci responded by saying that the parents were concerned and unable to reach officials and had called him, adding that he had to go. He added that he is not only the T/C leader but a human and a father, and rejected that comforting the young and their families is provocative. Alithia adds that Akinci kept his distance from the students.

Work of Committee for Missing Persons halted due to coronavirus

CBMs, Internal Security, Human Rights


Phileleftheros reports that the Committee for Missing Persons is also affected by the situation caused by the spread of the coronavirus, and by the measures taken both by the Cypriot government and the T/Cs.

The newspaper notes that during the first two months of 2020 the CMP managed to work on exhuming the remains of only two persons and that the future is now uncertain as the effort comes to a decisive point in its history.

The report notes that out of 2,002 Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing, 1,208 have been exhumed since 2006. Only 974 of those have been identified. According to the newspaper, 2019 was the least succesful year since only 42 persons were identified, compared with 71 in 2018, 117 in 2017 and 115 in 2016.

The largest number of exhumations had been made in 2015 and had reached up to 160. However the number of exhumations decreased dramatically in 2018 (only 18) and in 2019 (only 24), which caused concern in the CMP.