Coronavirus: Cyprus warns in opposition to contaminated migrants illegally crossing into the EU

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Asylum-seekers contaminated with coronavirus might be seeping by means of the porous cease-fire line within the ethnically divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the nation’s well being minister warned Sunday.

Minister Constantinos Ioannou pointed to “an issue” after numerous migrants who not too long ago crossed from the breakaway north to hunt asylum within the internationally acknowledged south have examined constructive for COVID-19.

Ioannou stated the federal government had ordered two months in the past that each one migrants bear testing for COVID-19 earlier than they enter reception centres. A minimum of eight Syrian migrants who crossed southward within the final week have reportedly examined constructive.

Ioannou stated coronavirus checks are being carried out at a number of crossing factors that dot the 180- kilometre UN-controlled buffer zone. However migrants search different, extra distant routes to cross into the south, which is a part of the European Union.

The crossing factors opened late final month after being shut down for 3 months resulting from coronavirus restrictions. Nonetheless, the Cypriot authorities nonetheless bans crossings of foreigners due to uncertainty over the virus an infection price within the north.

Within the south, Cyprus has seen over 1,000 infections and 19 confirmed virus deaths.

“The virus continues to be right here, we’ve not gotten rid of it as many suppose and if we do not take protecting measures then we could have an issue sooner or later,” Ioannou stated.

Cyprus was break up in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup geared toward union with Greece. Solely Turkey acknowledges a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence within the north. The nation joined the EU in 2004, however solely Greek Cypriots and others within the south take pleasure in full membership.

Greater than three-quarters of the migrants who sought asylum in southern Cyprus crossed over from the north.

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