Health experts from the two communities on divided Cyprus are expected to touch base on Monday, leaving politics aside as scientists try to prepare officials for the reopening of crossings in the buffer zone.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the bicommunal Technical Committee on Health will meet Monday online to discuss the issue of crossings that remain closed due to the pandemic crisis.
From a scientific point of view, the gradual reopening of checkpoints is a "very reasonable arrangement" according to Petros Karayiannis, a molecular virology professor.
Karayiannis, who is also a member of the scientific task force advising the administration in the Republic of Cyprus, said five team members in the south will attend the teleconference to exchange views on the epidemiological situation on both sides of the divided island.
The expert said he hoped there would be a 'positive climate' during the teleconference 'in order to establish whether information from the Turkish-held part represents a true picture'
The health expert also said he hoped there would be a "positive climate" during the teleconference "in order to establish whether information from the Turkish-held part represents a true picture," according to CNA.
There have been zero confirmed cases in the north since mid-April, while numbers remained very close to zero in recent weeks based on available lab results from testing.
Administration officials on the divided island have said recently that the reopening of crossings should take place in a way that would not be detrimental to public health and the effort to keep the COVID-19 infection index low.
Health experts in the south have warned the public that it would not be alarming if a few cases pop up during the early summer, adding that getting zero numbers for a number of days back to back would be a positive indication for easing further restrictions.
The Bicommunal Technical Committee on Health was established in 2008 to address and resolve public health issues that could affect both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. Subcommittees also aim to gather information on each other’s health systems as well as advance cooperation on health issues between the two sides.
The scientific team in the south is scheduled to report back to President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday to discuss measures ahead of the third phase of easing restrictions implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus.