Asylum-seekers infected with coronavirus maybe halfway through the porous cease-fire lineup at the ethnically divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the nation’s health minister warned Sunday.
Minister Constantinos Ioannou pointed to”an issue” following a variety of migrants who recently spanned in the northeast north to find asylum from the globally recognized south has tested positive for COVID-19.
Ioannou said the authorities had ordered two weeks ago that migrants undergo testing for COVID-19 till they enter reception centers.
Ioannou said coronavirus tests have been conducted at several crossing points which scatter the 180- kilometer UN-controlled buffer zone. However, migrants seek other, more distant routes to cross to the southwest, which is an element of the European Union.
The crossing points started late last month after being closed down for 3 months because of coronavirus restrictions. On the other hand, the Cypriot government bans the crossings of foreigners due to doubt over the virus disease rate from the north.
From the southeast, Cyprus has seen over 1,000 diseases and 19 confirmed virus deaths.
“The virus remains here, we have not gotten rid of it because many believe and when we do not take protective steps we might have difficulty later on,” Ioannou said.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup aimed at union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of freedom from the north. The country joined the EU in 2004, but just Greek Cypriots and other people from the south enjoy complete membership.
Over three-quarters of those migrants who sought asylum in southern Cyprus spanned in the north.