LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Ankara will begin transferring COVID-19 patients from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to health services in Turkey, an official said Wednesday.

“In this context, Turkey, as of the midnight begins to transfer the COVID-19 patients here to health services in Turkey,” TRNC Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said in a statement.

Tatar said Turkey continues to stand with the Turkish Cyprus in fighting the pandemic as it was always in solidarity with the TRNC in all matters.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay last month vowed his country would not allow any load on the health system of the TRNC and in case of increasing infections, patients will be provided air ambulance transportation to Turkish hospitals.

Tartar also said with the government’s work and support of Turkey, the TRNC will overcome difficulties.

The Turkish Cyprus reported 38 new infections Tuesday, bringing the number to 475. While 561 tests were conducted in TRNC, three patients were discharged from hospitals, and the death toll stood at four.

Treatment of 185 people continues with no patients in intensive care.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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