Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that unilateral actions by either community for coronavirus protection, such as the closing of checkpoints, had not been agreed upon by the two leaders during the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Health meeting they co-chaired earlier in February, but stressed there is no need for panic.
According to the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leadership, Barış Burcu, during the phone conversation shared by the two leaders on Friday, during which President Nicos Anastasiades offered his help after a fire broke out in a hospital in north Nicosia leaving two dead, both leaders confirmed that there have so far been no confirmed coronavirus cases in their respective communities.
As reported by Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris, during the two leaders' phone conversation, Akinci also referred to the recent meeting of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Health on February 2, which was attended and co-chaired by the two leaders, and where there was no discussion of any unilateral action such as the closing of checkpoints.
Rather, Akinci said, the leaders had decided that any decisions would emerge jointly through the Bicommunal Health Committee.
Nevertheless, Burcu relayed Akinci’s request for an avoidance of panic in both communities.
The reaction comes after Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that the Cabinet had agreed to temporarily shut the four checkpoints at Ledra Street, Astromeritis, Lefka, and Derynia, as part of a push for additional coronavirus protection measures.
The four checkpoints will be shut on Saturday, while additional medical professionals are to be stationed at the remaining checkpoints.