COVID19: Turkish Cypriots feel brunt of second wave

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Turkish Cypriots have reported a record number of 831 new COVID-19 cases in February while announcing seven deaths, already equalling January’s record toll.

During the second wave of coronavirus, cases have been steadily climbing from 751 in January and 466 in December in the Turkish occupied north.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the north has reached 3,157 while 21 deaths have been recorded.

Some 25 new coronavirus cases were announced on Thursday, as authorities started looking into partially relaxing a harsh lockdown, similar to the one imposed in the Republic from 10 January.

Turkish Cypriots are unlikely to ease a lockdown on all non-essential businesses and an 8 pm to 5 am curfew after the rise in cases.

Essential business is allowed to operate until 5 pm but food deliveries have been banned.

Head of the north’s education system Olgun Amcaoglu said that schools will not reopen before 1 April.

Turkish Cypriots crossing to work in the government-controlled south will have to quarantine upon return as will those living in the Republic and working in the north.

People wanting to cross for medical reasons have to present a negative PCR test while having to take another one on the seventh and fourteenth day since visiting the Republic.

The Republic of Cyprus reported 107 new coronavirus infections on Thursday and one new death, raising total infections to 32,935 and 228 deaths.

Divided Cyprus has reported combined 36,092 COVID-19 cases and 249 deaths.