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Coronavirus: Akinci says checkpoint decisions should be taken jointly by bicommunal health committee

Measures at the checkpoints should be taken jointly through the joint bicommunal technical committee on health,  Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Friday commenting on the decision of the Council of Ministers to temporarily suspend the operation of four checkpoints for one week.

In a written statement, his spokesman Baris Burcu said that President Nicos Anastasiades had telephoned Akinci today to convey cabinet’s decision to close Ledra Street, Dherynia, Astromeritis and Lefka checkpoints for a week, after which the decision will be reviewed.

He added that this was in order to stop the spread of coronavirus and that the remaining checkpoints would remain open but screening measures would be stepped up.

Akinci, according to his spokesman asked Anastasiades whether there were any cases of coronavirus in the ‘south’ to which Anastasiades said no and Akinci noted that this was also the case for the ‘north’.

Akinci also reminded Anastasiades that on February 3, the bicommunal technical committee had discussed coronavirus and agreed that no measures were needed at the checkpoints but at the points onf entry.

“If measures need to be taken in Cyprus it would be appropriate for them to be taken jointly through the technical committee on health,” Akinci also told Anastasiades.

Replying, government spokesman Kyriakos Koushios said the aim is not to block movement across the Green Line but as a precaution in view of the risks from coronavirus in order to protect both communities.

Koushios said that movement using the five other checkpoints will continue.


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