TCC Press Review 29 Mar 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

All public-private hospitals should be operated jointly

The former chief physician at the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu Hospital Dr Bülent Dizdarlı speaks to Yenidüzen.

  • May this be the last one! – First death from Covid-19 took place in the north yesterday (Saturday). A 73-year-old German Covid-19 patient who was also receiving treatment for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease lost his life at 9:58 am on Saturday morning.

Kıbrıs Postası

Ceased print/Online only

Kıbrıs

Tons of milk to go to waste

SÜTEK (Turkish Cypriot Dairy Products Board) announced it will not purchase raw milk from the producers over the weekend due to drop in milk consumption and the shrinkage in the market as a result of the measures adopted against the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of SÜTEK’s decision, the producers will not be able to sell 30 tons of milk. Mustafa Naimoğulları, head of the Livestock Breeders Association, said overall there was an overall excess of 100 tons milk. “We are faced with a very bad situation,” he noted. Hüseyin Çavuş, head of the Turkish Cypriot Farmers’ Association, warned that the farming activities must not stop otherwise the retail prices of milk and dairy produce will go up.

  • First Covid-19 death in the north – One of the German tourists, who had been in quarantine at the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu hospital died due to multiple organ failure and respiratory problems.
  • 179 cases confirmed in the south.
  • 108 people died in Turkey due to coronavirus.
  • PM Ersin Tatar: “The state is carrying out the struggle in coordination.”
  • KIBTEK (TC electricity authority) to reduce electricity bills by 15 per cent.

Havadis

The private sector challenges the government

Neither the employees nor the employers are satisfied with the first economic measures package announced by the government. The Economic Associations’ Platform is threatening the government of “cutting off all ties with the state.” The platform, which gave the government until Monday to reconsider its package, said, “the members of the platform will not fulfil their monetary responsibilities towards the state if the package is not revised.” The platform presented the authorities with a new set of recommendations consisting of 34 points. 16 of them are designed to protect the businesses.

  • Three months according to Tatar and three months according to Pilli – The on-going efforts against the coronavirus were reviewed at a meeting chaired by the premier. Speaking at the meeting, the timelines mentioned by the Prime Minister and the Health Minister did not match. PM Tatar said he believes the north has so far been successful in implementing the measures against the coronavirus.
  • The latest situation: North: 62 cases, one death; South 179 cases, five deaths; Turkey 7402 cases, 108 deaths.

Diyalog

‘Hello Corona’

The chief physician at the Barış Psychiatric Hospital Dr Abidin Akbirgün said that those who have been calling with complaints of psychological problems has increased by five times since the Covid-19 outbreak. Dr Akbirgün said that many people were suffering from anxiety since they were told to remain home. He said that the figures will continue to grow as long as the measures remain in place.

  • The first loss of life – While the number of coronavirus cases in the TRNC reaches 62, one of the German tourists could not be saved.
  • Doctors all in – Number of cases in the south reach 179 with 17 new increases.
  • Loss of life 108 – Number of cases in Turkey reach 7402.

Afrika

The first death recorded in the north

The number of people killed by coronavirus around the world has exceeded 30,000. 823 people died in the last 24 hours in Spain, one of the worst affected countries in the world. The hundreds of graves dug up in Turkey where the real figures are not being announced have caused shock in Cyprus. Health Minister Ali Pilli announced that the 73-year-old German citizen receiving treatment for Covid-19 passed away. He added that only one positive case was confirmed out of 171 tested. Pilli said that the total number of cases had reached 62, with 29 people actively receiving treatment.

Main News

North records first coronavirus death

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Internal Security

OVERVIEW

An infected elderly tourist who was hospitalized at Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital in north Nicosia died on Saturday, marking the first coronavirus death in the north.

All six dailies reported that a 73-year-old male tourist from Germany died in a north Nicosia hospital after being infected with the Covid-19 virus.

The tourist, who was in a group of 31 German visitors on the island, was initially quarantined in early March after a 65-year-old woman in the same group was the first person to have tested positive.

He had an underlying health condition.

While 29 of the 31 visitors were released from quarantine and flew out of Cyprus, two had remained hospitalized after their health had deteriorated.

One German visitor remains hospitalized in the north according to media reports.

One new case was confirmed in the north on Saturday, bringing the total number to 62.

Health Minister Ali Pilli said that two of the cases were placed in intensive care.

He said that over 1000 people had been tested to date and that there were currently 866 people being kept in isolation at hotels.

Meanwhile, Suphi Çoşkun, the Mayor of Dipkarpaz (Rizokarpaso), which is under a week-long street curfew, issued a statement in Greek to inform the village’s Greek Cypriot inhabitants of the developments on Covid-19 as well as the measures in place.

Çoşkun, who posted the statement on social media, said that they never discriminated against religion, language or ethnicity.

He added that their duty was to inform and protect everyone in the area.

Meanwhile, the private Kolan Hospital in (north) Nicosia has been temporarily commissioned as a public hospital while the main state hospital has been converted into a quarantine hospital.

All patients suspected of having coronavirus or who have tested positive will be transferred to the main hospital while patients with other complaints will be directed to the Kolan hospital.

In the meantime, the move was slammed by the heads of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Dentists who described it as a scandal.

He argued that the decision had put under risk all the other patients receiving treatment at the hospital.

Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar on Saturday said that it was imperative to continue imposing tight measures so as to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Tatar, speaking at a meeting attended by Turkish Cypriot Heath Minister Ali Pilli, members of the Prime Ministry Science Council, officials from the Civil Defence Organisation and other stakeholders, said that timely measures adopted by the government were successful in containing the virus.

He also said that economic matters came second as the priority at this stage was to ensure the public’s health and safety.

Tatar, touching on the street curfew imposed in the Karpaz (Karpasia) area, said that the tight measures were necessary.

“It might be too much for some but we didn’t want to take any chances. The tests and screenings conducted have revealed that the virus has not spread as we had initially feared. We shall observe our citizens in the area.

Also speaking, Pilli said that they had been taking measures against Covid-19 since December 2019 and were stepping up their efforts since.

He expressed his belief that the pandemic will end soon if everyone follows their instructions and advice.

Pilli explained that they have tested around 300 people in the Karpaz (Karpasia) area and that only 12 cases had tested positive.

He also said that 140 boxes of medical aid and equipment had arrived on Friday and that they were currently not experiencing any shortages.

President Mustafa Akıncı on Saturday continued to seek assistance from international actors for the fight against coronavirus.

Akıncı sent letters to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the General Secretary of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yusuf Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen.

Akıncı said in his letter that he supported the UN Secretary-General’s earlier call to world leaders for a global ceasefire and to solve problems through diplomacy.

He said that the Turkish Cypriot community was prepared to cooperate with the Greek Cypriot community in any way possible to fight the global threat posed by the coronavirus.

Akıncı explained to Guterres that members of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Health were in close contact with each other.

In his letters, he said that the UN and the OIC should be in solidarity with the Turkish Cypriots and should assist them.

Earlier on Friday, Akıncı had sent letters to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the head of the European Union (EU) Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the World Bank David Malpass and the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Suma Chakrabarti asking for emergency financial assistance to the Turkish Cypriot community.