COVID-19: Highlights from the TRNC

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Series of panic followed the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which became widespread across the world. With the continuous shutdown of economies, impacting gigantically on political agendas all resulting from the widespread of the pandemic, some societies have shown limited capacities in tackling such a new disease spreading like a wildfire.

The outbreak of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) after a 65-years-old female German tourist residing in Salamis Bay Conti Hotel tested positive. In an attempt to keep the virus at bay, the TRNC Council of Ministers quickly responded with a decision to ban all social gatherings, including educational activities in institutions across the TRNC effective from March 11th, 2020.

In the wake of the decision, panic-buying, self-isolation, and social distancing became the order of the day with rising fears among residents, a great number of whom are mostly foreign students. Series of awareness campaigns on preventive measures are ongoing, especially as the virus continues to spread to other parts of the world. At the Eastern Mediterranean University, the highest-ranked university in the TRNC, dormitories, restaurants, delivery services, and stores have since initiated different measures to ensure a sanitary safe zone by providing accessible hand sanitizers and posters in elevators and hallways containing basic information about the virus and the necessary precautions. Staff providing essential services at different units were additionally provided with hand gloves and sanitary masks to prevent any risks resulting from the contact with other people in their various places of work.

As the saying goes, “knowledge is power” and such knowledge could be the only means of survival when dealing with such an incomprehensible disease. One of the important questions still begging for answers is that, without a recognizable cure, what comes next in dealing with a deadly virus that only has preventive measures? Even in the case of other diseases with identified cures, the most suitable answer at present is to simply say “prevention is always better than a cure.”

Stay safe! Stay at home!! Protect yourself and others!!!

 

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