Turkish Cypriot authorities in the North yesterday allowed the remains of a Greek Cypriot from the village of Sipahi who died 20 days ago in South Cyprus, to be transferred to his village for burial, CNA reports.
As CNA learns, a funeral service took place in the South, before the remains were transferred to Sipahi (Ayia Triada), to be buried there in the presence of relatives. Members of the family residing in the south were not permitted to cross to attend the burial.
Turkish Cypriot authorities requested, among others, that his relatives present a test as a proof that the deceased was COVID-19 negative, before allowing the UN peacekeeping force to bring his remains to Sipahi (Ayia Triada). Their initial reaction was that no burial services could take place for public health reasons. As a result, the remains of the man were kept in the South for 20 days, until permission was given to transfer him to his village.
A number of Greek Cypriots from the Karpas peninsula with health issues increasingly face problems after a decision to close crossing points, as they can not attend scheduled appointments with doctors in South Cyprus. There is also a person undergoing chemotherapy among the GCs, CNA adds.
President Nicos Anastasiades and President Mustafa Akinci reached on May 21 a mutual understanding about the gradual reopening of crossing points. They agreed to initially allow passage at crossing points for motor vehicles, starting on June 8. The measure applies for Greek Cypriots or Maronites who reside permanently in North Cyprus, as well as for Turkish Cypriots who work, study or are being treated in South Cyprus. A certificate proving that the person who wants to cross is COVID-19 negative is mandatory.
Asked about this issue, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou told CNA that his office is preparing for tests to be conducted at least once on GCs or those who resettled and want to cross.
South Cyprus will probably pay for the test, he added. He also said that his office receives daily a number of calls from people interested to cross, as many among the Greek Cypriots and Maronites have been affected by the closure of crossing points.