COVID19: Turkish Cypriots endure worst month on record

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Turkish Cypriot health authorities continue to struggle to stem a surge of COVID-19 cases, with a record 3,108 infections smashing the previous monthly high of 1,879 in April.

Adding to the bad news, the health authorities in the north reported a peak of 163 new cases on Wednesday, along with one death.

Wednesday’s record cases take the total of COVID-19 infections reported in the Turkish occupied north of the island to 11,206 and 40 deaths.

Turkish Cypriot media said an elderly woman aged 79 was the latest patient to lose their life to the disease.

The woman was unvaccinated, according to an announcement issued by the health authorities in the north.

Turkish Cypriot health authorities are struggling with a resurgence of the virus, powered by the more aggressive Delta variant.

In June, authorities had kept daily cases below 50 throughout the month, reaching just 776 infections.

Turkish Cypriot doctors have long sounded the alarm over the rise in cases pushing the health system to its limits.

The COVID-19 reference hospital in north Nicosia has reached capacity, with the former head of the health authority in the north, Dr Ali Pilli, arguing that authorities will soon lose any control over the spread of the virus.

Pilli, a doctor by profession, warned that if more measures are not adopted, the virus will become ‘unstoppable’.

He attributed the rise in cases to the lack of controls and checks, as citizens in the north are not abiding by health protocols and self-protection measures.

In comments to Turkish Cypriot daily YeniDuzen, Pilli said clusters are emerging at weddings, entertainment venues, restaurants, and gyms.

Furthermore, he said people are behaving as if “there are no rules”.

“There are no checks at the entrances of these venues.

“It’s not enough to talk about checks; they must be implemented.”

Meanwhile, despite daily cases in the Republic dropping from four digits, they are still relatively high, with 769 cases and two deaths reported on Wednesday.

It brings the total in the Republic since March 2020 to 100,129 and 412 deaths.

Divided Cyprus has confirmed a combined 111,335 cases and 452 deaths.