Syrian refugees who were rescued from rough seas last Thursday off the South Cyprus coast are expected to be transferred to the Kofinou Reception Centre next Tuesday, after they have been examined by medical staff, ‘Famagusta Gazette’ reports.
Currently, the refugees are being hosted temporarily at a special shelter in Kokkinotrimithia, close to Nicosia.
Health Minister Philippos Patsalis stated on Saturday that refugees were undergoing medical examinations for a second time. They received the polio vaccine and were tested for hepatitis B and C, AIDS and other contagious diseases.
Some of the refugees are already receiving treatment in Nicosia hospitals.
Medical personnel will remain in the shelter to provide first aid, psychological support or other services, if needed, while the Ministry of Health has already ordered for the necessary medication to be provided once the results of tests are out today.
Justice Minister and Deputy Interior Minister Ionas Nicolaou said that refugees will remain in the shelter in Kokkinotrimithia until Tuesday, and once medical examinations are concluded, they will be transferred to the Kofinou Reception Center, which has better facilities.
The Minister also said that the South Cyprus’ authorities will be informing the refugees of their rights and each case will be examined separately.
He noted that minor problems, including the communication of refugees with their families, will be solved soon.
The 345 refugees fled from war-torn Syria aboard an unseaworthy fishing boat that sent a distress signal as it was caught in rough seas 55 nautical miles south of Paphos, on Thursday. All refugees were rescued aboard a cruise ship, in an operation coordinated by the Souths competent authorities and were transferred to the special shelter in Kokkinotrimithia on Friday.