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First case of coronavirus detected in Turkish Republic of Cyprus

The zero patient is a German tourist. With this there are already 3 cases of coronavirus detected in Cyprus, after another two were confirmed on Monday in the Greek side.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) confirmed on Tuesday that it had detected the first case of the new COVID-19 coronavirus in the country, specifically in a person who had travelled to the island as a tourist.

As Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli announced to the press, the zero patient would be a 65-year-old German-born woman who arrived in northern Cyprus as a tourist; the woman was part of a group of about 30 tourists who have already been quarantined as a precaution, said the minister, who indicated that her hotel in the city of Famagusta (Gazimağosa, in Turkish) will be isolated for a period of 14 days.

With this there are already three cases of coronavirus detected in this island of the Eastern Mediterranean, after on Monday the Greek Cypriot government announced through its Minister of Health Constantinos Ioannou that two Greek Cypriot citizens who had returned to the country after travelling abroad had given positive in tests to detect the virus.

Supermarkets full after detecting three cases of COVID-19 in Cyprus

The local press echoed this Tuesday of scenes of a certain panic and nervousness among the Turkish Cypriot population, with supermarkets full of customers with their faces covered with masks that rushed to make large purchases to accumulate food.

Cyprus remains divided into two halves, one to the north of Turkish Cypriot majority and another to the south controlled by the Greek Cypriots, since in 1974 a coup d’etat in Nicosia and the persecutions against the Turkish Cypriot minority led to a military intervention by Turkey. In 1983 the KKTC was proclaimed but is only recognised by Ankara, while the southern half became part of the EU in 2004 after a failed reunification referendum.

Last weekend, the Greek Cypriot administration decided to close 4 of the 8 crossing points established along the neutral zone that divides both countries – monitored by UN blue helmets – claiming security reasons to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but this has unleashed tense protests by citizens of both Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Republic of Cyprus in favor of reunification.