Gradually reopening the checkpoints would be a logical step toward a scientific viewpoint, one of the health ministry’s advisors on the coronavirus said on Sunday.
On Monday, five members of the team are set to teleconference with the bi-communal technical committee on health.
They are set to discuss how checks could be carried out during crossings and what the north will do to avoid importing cases from Turkey.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, professor of microbiology and molecular virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School, Petros Karayiannis said the aim was to have an exchange of viewpoints from each side.
Karayiannis said he hoped the climate was positive to determine if the picture from the north reflected reality. The discussion is not political; he outlined but purely scientific.
The government’s team also wants to know what the north will do to ensure there are no imported coronavirus cases from Turkey when air and sea connections with Turkey resume.
Commenting on the government-controlled areas, Karayiannis most of the coronavirus cases of the past few days were imported, and one-two examples were found through contact tracing, which could have been older.
The key focus lies less with the number of cases but more so with the number of patients in the hospital. For weeks no new patients have been admitted to the hospital due to severe complications of the virus, Karayiannis said.
“The same is happening with those intubated, as the number remains stable…all this tells us there is no community transmission.”
Asked on reopening the checkpoints, Karayiannis said it would be a logical arrangement to open the inspections gradually.
In the same way that measures in the government, controlled areas were relaxed gradually, the approach should be similar, where progress is reviewed before moving to another phase.
On Tuesday, the health experts will meet with President Nicos Anastasiades to discuss entering the third phase, and the matter of reopening the checkpoints may also be addressed, Karayiannis said.