In a COVID-19 crisis response, the EU has purchased urgent equipment, mobilised medical specialists and technical assistance as part of its aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community.
A statement by the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus said the EU through a Contribution Agreement with UNDP successfully procured the first batch of urgent medical equipment and supplies for an amount of €2.5 million and also mobilised 25 medical specialists for three months to help the fight against COVID-19.
This is the first tranche of the €5 mln budget earmarked by Brussels for the fight against COVID-19 in the Turkish Cypriot community.
“The action is the result of the long-lasting and effective partnership with UNDP in Cyprus, which enabled a rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic following a request from the Turkish Cypriot community,” said the statement.
“This comes in addition to the continued technical assistance to strengthen COVID-19 crisis management, coordination and response mechanism,” it added.
The procurement of the first batch of urgent equipment and supplies was secured from suppliers in Europe and China and is expected to arrive in Cyprus during April.
The first batch includes personal protection equipment (PPE), ventilators, Intensive Care Unit equipment, laboratory consumables and kits for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and medication such as antibiotics, antivirals, sedatives and paralytics.
To “improve the response capacity against the spread of COVID-19 in the Turkish Cypriot community”, the European Commission is also financing the mobilisation of medical staff including 25 doctors, laboratory technicians and support staff.
These staff can be mobilised with immediate effect as needed.
“The European Commission shall continue providing assistance to further strengthening the COVID-19 response capacities, notably in setting-up effective management, coordination and operational response structure and upgrading the Turkish Cypriot response plan.”
The Turkish occupied north of Cyprus has 81 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two deaths since the outbreak.