Prime Minister Ersan Saner on Sunday urged the public to continue adhering to COVID-19 measures such as social distancing, personal hygiene and wearing masks.
Evaluating the latest decisions adopted by the Council of Ministers, Saner said that the main cause of the lockdowns in the country was more about preventing problems that could be experienced in terms of the infrastructure rather than the rise in case numbers.
He added that despite the fall in daily case numbers over the past week, it was still important to adhere to the measures.
“No matter what decisions the government adopts, if we are not careful, the virus will continue to spread. If the virus spreads, we shall see more lockdowns. We all see what that means for the economy” he said.
The Prime Minister said that the government was working on drafting a schedule as to when the economy’s locomotive sector, tourism and education can resume.
“So far 3,500 students have returned to the country. We have an average of 160 students arriving daily. We are planning to have a total of 15,000 students for the spring semester, 4000 of them new enrolments,” he added.
Saner also said that efforts were being made to be able to launch the tourism season by April.
Regarding primary and secondary school education, Saner said that the vaccination of teachers was the government’s priority.
He reminded that the TRNC has received a total of 80,000 CoronaVac vaccines and 7,000 vaccines from the EU.
“We are now in need of 10,000 doses before the end of March for second jabs. Once we receive these doses, we will have vaccinated 45,000 of our citizens,” Saner said.
The premier added that the Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay has promised more vaccines but that there was currently a shortage of supply in all countries.
“Nevertheless, we are still in a very good position compared to other countries, including South Cyprus,” he said.
Prime Minister Saner also said that a number of arrangements were taken to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy.
He said these arrangements included postponing loan payments up to six months with any changes to interest rates.