TCC Press Review 30 Mar 2020

Front Page Headlines


No cost of living increment for health workers either

The government’s decision to freeze the cost of living increment for four months will also be valid for healthcare workers. The government passed a decree that includes the health sector workers. Healthcare workers in many parts of the work are being exempt from economic measures.

  • Administrative leave extended until April 10 –The administrative leave of public sector workers, school closures, activity bans and closure of businesses as well as other bans extended till April 10.
  • Coronavirus agenda: Two new cases in the north, the total figure rises to 64. 35 new cases in the south, one death.
  • Distribution of cases according to areas: Nicosia nine, İskele/Karpaz (Trikomo/Karpasia) 13, Lapta (Lapithos) four, Beyarmudu (Pergamos) three, Kyrenia two, Famagusta three. Treatment of 34 cases continues, 29 discharged one dead.  

Kıbrıs Postası

Ceased print/Online only


Corona days extended

The council of ministers has extended the administrative leave for the public sector until 10 April. The Karpaz (Karpasia) coordination committee for the 15 villages under lockdown, adopted measures to regulate issues such as opening hours for supermarkets and pharmacies; purchase of fodder for livestock and attending to livestock and crops. While the decision of closure of all businesses is also extended until April 10, the partial curfew will expire on April 5.

  • Lefke (Lefka) wants controlled entry and exit – The district officer, mayor and 13 mukhtars submitted a letter to the interior ministry asking for controls to be imposed on entry and exit into the town as precautionary measures against the spread of coronavirus. They also said if they do not get a response, the Lefke (Lefka) officials will adopt stricter measures themselves.
  • Two new cases in the north – Health Minister Ali Pilli denied rumours that a second individual had died of coronavirus.
  • Credit card limits being increased while interests lowered to one per cent – Economy and Energy ministry clarified some of the articles in the economic support package announced by the cabinet.
  • Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu being converted to a pandemic hospital.
  • Famagusta turns into a ghost town – The streets of Famagusta are empty due to the measures adopted against coronavirus.


64 cases 1 death

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 64 with the latest two cases. Health Minister Ali Pilli announced 34 patients are being currently treated now and that 29 had been discharged earlier. He added one person had passed away. 1103 tests have been done to date. The highest density of cases is in İskele (Trikomo) and Karpaz (Karpasia) areas.

  • Controlled entry and exit to Lefke (Lefka) – 13 mukhtars have signed a letter asking for controlled entry and exit into the Lefke (Lefka) district. The letter will be sent to the interior ministry today (Monday).
  • Kolan Hospital to serve as the main hospital – The Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital will be transformed into a pandemic hospital while keeping the haemodialysis and oncology units working as normal.
  • “More profits cannot be the sectors’ goal at such time” – The North Cyprus Association of Banks announced its decisions intending to protect the people. 
  • The latest situation: North 64 cases one death; South 214 cases six deaths; Turkey 9217 cases 131 deaths.


Tensions rise

Organisations which want the economic package to be revised has given the government until 5:30 pm to announce ‘new measures’. The organisations will convene to decide their next steps should the government fail to announce a second package by the 5:30 deadline. While the head of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Turgay Deniz said the economic package announced by the government was unacceptable, the head of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry Candan Avunduk said that the wheels of the economy had come to a grinding halt. The head of the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers’ Association Dimağ Çağıner described the package as a farce and the head of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Shopkeepers and Artisans Mahmut Kanber said they couldn’t accept this package imposed by the government. On the other hand, the head of the Turkish Cypriot Contractors’ Association Cafer Gürcafer criticized the ₺1500 (€208) salary subsidy to be paid to private-sector employees. The head of the Turkish Cypriot Businessmen’s Association Enver Mamülcü said the package will push the private sector into the hands of loan sharks.

  • Three people in ICU – Two new cases of coronavirus recorded in North Cyprus, the number of patients receiving treatment have reached 34.
  • Death toll reaches six – While the number of cases has risen to 214 in South Cyprus, 129 people were booked for violating the ban on movement.
  • Total patient numbers reach 9217 – While the death toll reached 2131 in Turkey, 1815 new cases emerged.
  • ‘We’re stuck at home’ – Council of Ministers extends administrative leave for public-sector employees until April 10.
  • €6.6bn in six years – South Cyprus relaunches paid citizenship scheme to reduce the impact of the crisis.


Council of Ministers extends administrative leave for the public sector until April 10

According to the government’s decision, all schools and businesses will remain closed until April 10. All daycare centres, educational institutions and prep schools will suspend education until that date. All mass activities or venues such as cinemas, theatres, concerts and festivals will remain cancelled. The partial ban on movement is to continue until April 5.

  • Two new cases in the north, 35 in the south – Health Minister Ali Pilli announced that two out of 28 people had tested positive for coronavirus yesterday (Sunday). He said that three patients were in the ICU. He also denied reports that the second German national receiving treatment had died. In the south, the total number of cases reached 214 with the latest 34 positive cases. The figure remains to be 64 in the north. One more person died in the south from coronavirus bringing the tally to six.

Main News

Two new cases, cabinet extends the duration of measures

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


Two more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the north on Sunday, bringing the total cases to 64.

Giving an update on the latest, Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli, on Bayrak, said that there were currently three patients being treated in ICU.

He noted that 1103 Covid-19 tests have been conducted to date and added there were currently 34 patients who were receiving treatment for coronavirus.

He recalled that 29 patients had been discharged and that one person had died.

“The distribution of cases according to the areas is as follows. There are nine cases in north Nicosia; 13 in İskele (Trikomo) – Karpaz (Karpasia) area; three in Beyarmudu (Pergamos); two in Kyrenia and three in Famagusta,” Pilli said.

On the other hand, Pilli rejected the rumours that the second German tourist being treated for coronavirus had died.

“No one should adhere to statements that are not official or from official sources. We have always been and will continue to be transparent,” he stressed.

Pilli also said that another Turkish national who died in hospital on Sunday had tested negative for coronavirus in both the “rapid test” and the PCR test.

He added that the patient who had been admitted to the hospital two days ago had been diagnosed with pneumonia and was suffering from diabetes, hypertension and cirrhosis.

Pilli also provided an update on the hospital arrangements to accommodate coronavirus patients and said the main building of the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital will be transformed into a pandemic hospital while keeping the haemodialysis and oncology units working as normal.

He noted doctors and nursing staff at the pandemic institution will undergo regular coronavirus tests.

Pilli also said the Kolan private hospital in north Nicosia will be the main reference facility for the rest of the emergencies and incidents, with doctors transferring there to assist.

The minister added emergencies will also be sent to the Kyrenia Akçiçek, Famagusta State Hospital, the Near East University Hospital in Nicosia and the Dr Suat Günsel Kyrenia University hospitals.

In the meantime, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman quoting experts, warned on Sunday that the other patients currently receiving treatment at the north Nicosia hospital might suffer as a result of the decision to convert the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu hospital into a pandemic hospital.

In a post on social media, Erhürman said the authorities must quickly iron out legal concerns if any and arrange for other hospitals to transfer the patients.

“Legal arguments on nationalisation or expropriation come about eventually but it must be known that both state and private hospitals are jointly owned by the Turkish Cypriot community. At a time like now, we do not have the luxury of not finding a solution to the problem,” Erhürman concluded.

In the meantime, the Turkish Cypriot cabinet on Sunday announced that it had extended all the measures adopted on 12, 13 and 14 March to 10 April as part of the efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

In line with the extension decision, the public and the private sectors will remain closed except for emergency and essential services.

Among the measures extended includes the decision to keep all land, sea and airports closed for foreign nationals including Greek Cypriots.

The 14-day mandatory quarantine remains in force for all TRNC citizens to enter the north.

The cabinet on Sunday also issued new decisions through the Karpaz (Karpasia) Coordination Committee for the Karpaz (Karpasia) villages under quarantine.

According to decisions, supermarkets, bakeries and pharmacies will be open for several hours every day to deliver orders of residents.

Villagers will also be able to attend to their fields or their livestock at hours specified by the authorities.

In a separate development, Aziz Kaya, Mayor of Lefke (Lefka) announced he will send a letter signed by 13 mukhtars from the area to the Interior Ministry demanding that entry and exit to the town be carried out under police control.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Kaya noted that all 13 mukhtars, the civil society organisations in the region and the Lefke (Lefka) District Officer supported the move.

Meanwhile, 60 British citizens from the north were given an exemption by authorities on Sunday to cross to the south of the island from the Beyarmudu (Pergamos) crossing point to catch a flight from Paphos airport to London.

The Greek Cypriot daily Cyprus Mail reported on Sunday the repatriation agreement was reached between the British government and the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) officials.

The British High Commission in Cyprus had announced on Saturday that the British tourists would be permitted to cross into the Sovereign Base Area to be repatriated back to the UK. 

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