Northern Cyprus to tighten COVID measures during Muslim holiday
Prime minister says strict measures to be taken to curb spread of virus during Eid holiday
LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
The Turkish Cypriot premier announced plans on Wednesday to tighten coronavirus measures during the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Prime Minister Ersan Saner said in a televised interview that the new measures will be announced Friday for the holiday that begins next week.
He cited Turkey's nationwide lockdown that is set to last until May 17 and that the Greek Cyprus side is also implementing a 15-day lockdown. He said the Supreme Council of Health will convene Wednesday as decisions made will be discussed at the Ministry of Health on Thursday. New decisions will be addressed at a Cabinet meeting on Friday.
Saner said the TRNC will have at least 10 days of tightened measures to have lesser measures during the summer months and noted the months of June, July, and August should not be risked.
The TRNC decided to ban mass gatherings during Ramadan for iftar, or the fast-breaking meal, and mass prayers to contain the spread of the virus.
It reported 60 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday as more than 9,500 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.
TRNC also said 74 patients recovered and were discharged from the hospital during that time.