Dom Research Center   News Clippings: Cyprus

Gypsies pose no health risk
in The Cyprus Weekly, Nov. 16-22, 2001

SEVEN gypsies who have crossed over from the occupied areas have tested positive for tuberculosis but do not pose a public health risk, said Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou. Christodoulou said he has given instructions that all 367 gypsies currently living in the government-controlled areas undergo medical check-ups to uncover any cases of tuberculosis. Of the total number of gypsies in the government areas, 198 live in Limassol and 169 in Paphos. Lung specialists told The Cyprus Weekly that tuberculosis can be transmitted only if an untreated bacterial infection is present in the lungs, and if sufferers live in poverty and under unhigenic conditions.

Christodoulou said last month that the government would break ground on a new facility putting a solid roof over the heads of gypsies seeking refuge in the government-controlled areas. Scores of gypsies who crossed the divide in the last few weeks created a housing crunch in the old Turkish Cypriot neighbourhoods in Paphos and Limassol. Authorities last month pitched a combined 87 tents near Mesoyia and Kofinou to temporarily house some of the gypsies until they receive medical check-ups and their ID is verified. Christodoulou had said the new quarters will afford new arrivals with adequate and comfortable washroom facilities.

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