GCC Press Review 28 Mar 2020

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Planet terrorised, thousands of losses

Two more dead and 16 new cases of coronavirus yesterday in Cyprus. Globally 26,822 victims. Italy 9,134 victims. Spain 4,934 victims. China 3,292 victims. Iran 2,378 victims. France 1,995 victims. USA 1,469 victims. Turkey 92 victims. Greece 28 victims. Cyprus 5 victims.

  • Go ahead from Parliament for measures: The ball in (Labour Minister) Zeta’s court
  • Vasilikos: The contractors left
  • Karpasia under quarantine

Phileleftheros

Bank interest causes division

Disagreement between Economy Ministry – Central (Bank) and parties blocked suspension of loan payments. New consultations today and Plenary session tomorrow.

  • List of deaths lengthens: Two more victims, while seven fight in intensive care – 162 known cases in free areas, 61 in occupied areas
  • Our enclaved were put into quarantine
  • (Stella Kyriakidou) “Some only looked after themselves”: “The pandemic found us all unprepared”
  • Cyprus in the crosshairs for Moscow’s tax changes
  • Carrot and stick for Turkey from EU

Haravgi

OEB wants layoffs without losses

OEB (Employers and Industrialists Federation) pressures government to push through its positions. PEO (Pancyprian Federation of Labour): Support to businesses presupposes responsibilities. Legislation for express evictions suspended.

  • 15 Karpasia villages under quarantine
  • Accomodation centers a ticking bomb

Cyprus Mail

Death tally rises to five

Expert says the situation is ‘still manageable’ in Cyprus, announces 16 new cases.

  • Boris has coronavirus. Isolates himself inside Downing Street
  • Cyprus: Checks and fines for movement violations are ramped up

Alithia

5 dead, we “reached” the high percentage of expected mortality

Coronavirus proves that it is not a joke! 72-year-old Cypriot woman and 47-year-old Greek man, who were hospitalised and intubated, are the two new victims of the coronavirus in Cyprus – Cypriot from London also victim of coronavirus. 16 new confirmed cases announced yesterday, nine of which resulted from contacts and three who are being tracked. We reached a total of 162 cases. Karpasia under full quarantine since yesterday. Enclaved affected to a large extent since help through UNFICYP was interrupted. Minister of Health: “We are in a state of war. We focus on bringing about slowdown of spread so that health system can cope”. Parliament approved measures for support of economy and society. Issue of bank guarantees and suspension of loan payments in limbo.

  • Employers – unions wrangle over layoffs and salaries
  • Cyprus and Israel support each other against the coronavirus – We send chloroquine they send respirators
  • Britain: B. Johnson positive to the coronavirus – He fell himself victim to underestimation and triviliasation of danger
  • Vespers: Findings to the Attorney General on Monday – C. Clerides will be called to decide on whether or not to prosecute Limassol bishop

Main News

Death toll rises to five as 16 new cases reported by RoC government

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Internal Security, Human Rights, CBMs, Regional/ International Relations, EU Matters

OVERVIEW

The dailies report on a further rise in deaths from the coronavirus in Cyprus, as a 47-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman passed away on Friday.

Politis reports that the number of cases in the government controlled areas reached 162 on Friday, and that it was not possible to track the origin for 12 of these cases. The dailies also report that the number of coronavirus cases in the occupied areas have reached 61, out of which 29 are T/Cs, one is a Turkmen and the rest are German tourists most of which have since left hospital and left the island. Alithia reports that four new cases were detected at Rizokarpaso and Yialousa.

Scientific director of OKYpY for Nicosia district, Marios Loizou, told journalists that the average age of the victims is at 63 years old. He added that the new deaths are a reminder that the situation is difficult and that everyone should participate in the effort to prevent new infections.

The newspapers also report that a Cypriot resident of London was one of the 113 victims of the coronavirus reported on Friday in the UK.

A total of 16 new cases of coronavirus were reported on Friday by Leontios Kostrikkis, professor in Molecular Virology at University of Cyprus. One case concerns a person that recently returned from an EU country, nine were found through tracking the contacts of confirmed cases (one of which is a doctor in Paphos General Hospital), one case was found in the SBAs, two cases were ship crew members and three cases were of unknown provenance.

Politis reports that the patients in hospital, some of which are on intesive care, were in a critical but stable condition on Friday.

Alithia reports that experts believe the next two weeks will be critical in the overall handling of the crisis. The newspaper also points out that plenty of citizens are still not following the measures imposed by the government. On Friday the police reported 189 cases of people leaving their houses for no real reason.

Politis also reports that Cyprus will be receiving protective equipment from China which is expected to arrive to the island with a chartered flight. This equipment will include consumables such as protective suits, masks and gloves. The government is also involved in the joint procurement of masks and other protective equipment with other EU member states.

The dailies also report on statements made by government spokesperson Kyriakos Koushios regarding an agreement for mutual assistance between Cyprus and Israel. Cyprus has agreed to provide Israel with chloroquine and Israel has agreed to send 50 respirators. The deal was sealed during a telephone call between President Anastasiades and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Politis also reports on the ongoing financial problems in the occupied areas and the salary cuts imposed by the “government” for three months. T/C leader Mustafa Akinci has asked the EU, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for financial assistance. Meanwhile the “government’s” package to support the economy has been heavily criticised by the opposition that are pointing out that 15,000 foreign workers are not protected and that the salary cuts imposed in the “public” and private sectors are excessive.


Enclaved affected by decision to put Karpasia under quarantine

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

OVERVIEW

The Turkish Cypriot authorities have put the villages in the Karpasia peninsula under quarantine for seven days, starting in the early afternoon of Friday, the newspapers report.

According to Politis, the villages and towns under quarantine are Leonarissos, Platanissos, Koilanemo, Agios Andronikos, Vasili, Lythragkomi, Vathylakas, Neta, Agios Symeon, Melanagra, Korobeia, Galinoporni, Agia Triada, Yialousa and Rizokarpaso.

The decision was taken after 13 cases were detected in the region. None of the cases belonged to the group of the G/C enclaved. The infected were mostly bus drivers that had transported German tourists to the area.

Politis reports that the decision was not taken in coordination with the T/C local authorities of the communities affected. The “mayor” of Yialousa called the decision tragicomic, pointing out that if the panic caused by the decision brings about deaths, the “government” should be held responsible. He pointed out that the inhabitants of the area’s communities headed to the supermarkets immediately upon hearing the news, without taking proper care to protect themselves from unecessary contacts.

The measures were announced by T/C “prime minister” Ersin Tatar on Friday, and consist of a total ban on movement in all 15 villages and towns for 7 days. Entry points to the communities will be guarded by “police” and people will be able to leave their house only by approval of the “district governor”. T/C leader Mustafa Akinci called on inhabitants of the area to follow the “government’s” measures.

The media reports that the RoC’s commissioner for human rights Photis Photiou created a coordinating committee that will focus on keeping the enclaved informed of the situation, including by the creation of a support telephone line. In an announcement Photiou said that necessary medicine is getting to the enclaved through UNFICYP. He added that some difficulties arose on Friday regarding sending food to the enclaved, and that if these difficulties are not overcome then the government will issue an allowance.

UNFICYP spokesperson Aleem Siddique spoke to the Cyprus News Agency regarding the fact that on Friday T/C authorities did not allow the peacekeepers to transfer food to the enclaved, allowing only the transfer of medicines. Siddique said that the concerns of the persons affected are taken seriously and that UNFICYP will continue sending humanitarian help.