Easing curfew for elderly triggers debate

Easing curfew for elderly triggers debate

Easing curfew for elderly triggers debate

Elderly people above the age of 65 are expected to be allowed to go out for four hours on May 10, as Turkey begins to ease its coronavirus restrictions, although triggering debate on whether they should be accompanied by another person during their outing.

Some are arguing that the elderly may need such assistance since they have stayed indoors for too long, around 45 days at home since the curfew for them began, and their ability to move may have diminished.

“In this group, there are people who need special assistance,” said Dr. Gülüstü Salur, chairwoman of the 65+ Elderly Rights Association. “We will demand assistance [for them] if not allowed,” she added.

“I am 65 and have been indoors for two months. Our muscles weakened. I strongly recommend using a walking stick or company, not for those aged 65, but for elderly above 80,” said Fügen Mavi, the chairwoman of the Council of the Elderly.

“They definitely need someone near them,” Mavi added.

But any kind of company could mean close contact and the violation of social distancing rules.

“Elderly people will just go out for four hours, so there is no danger as there is a curfew on [May 10]. Only people who will be able to walk out, should do so,” said Prof. Dr. Levent Yamanel, a member of the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Science Board.

But when asked about whether someone should accompany the elderly, he said, “Impossible. Accompany means close contact.”