NICOSIA: Cyprus is boosting its capacity to host large numbers of migrants from the Middle East, reported Xinhua, quoting officials on Monday.
Cyprus News Agency (CNA) said Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou had instructed “the relevant services and departments of the Ministry” to increase the capacity of the main migrant reception centre near Nicosia to accommodate an additional 1,000 people.
The centre’s staff will also be increased, in order to speed up the processing of asylum applications.
CNA reported that “officials also discussed various options to open an additional migrant reception centre that could be used for the temporary accommodation of migrants in the event of a mass influx.”
Around 500 migrants have arrived on the eastern Mediterranean island in the last few days. Authorities said they had crossed over from the Lebanese coast on six small boats.
Cyprus has said at least 26 countries have asked to use Cypriot airports and ports in case they need to evacuate their nationals from countries in the Middle East.-Bernama-Xinhua