Following measures not choice but necessity, says Turkish health minister

Following measures not choice but necessity, says Turkish health minister

Following measures not choice but necessity, says Turkish health minister

Following anti-virus measures is not a personal choice, but a social necessity, Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said, as the surge in COVID-19 cases continues.

“Our health army is under a heavy burden,” Koca said on Twitter on Nov. 28, citing the figures for severe cases.

“We are all responsible to adhere to the measures,” he added.

Koca last week announced that 12,000 new health workers will be recruited as part of efforts in the fight against the coronavirus.

The ministry is set to appoint 7,000 nurses, 1,700 midwives, and 2,864 health technicians in 14 different fields, according to the minister.

In a separate tweet on Nov. 26, Koca also called on the public to stay at home outside the curfew hours.

Turkey recently ramped up anti-virus measures, imposing limited lockdowns on weekends. People are only allowed to go out between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekends.

As part of the new curbs to bring the outbreak under control, the government also restricted the movement of elderly people aged 65 and over as well young people under 20.

Shopping malls, markets and restaurants are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. throughout the week, with restaurants only providing delivery service.

Following complaints from citizens and inspections conducted by authorities, the Interior Ministry issued a circular over the weekend regarding the restaurants located at hotels and other accommodation facilities.

Some hotels and accommodation facilities are serving people who are not staying at those venues as guests at their restaurants, which is a violation of the anti-virus measures, the ministry said.

It noted that inspections on hotels and accommodation facilities will be tightened to prevent them from such practices.

Education and training will be held virtually in kindergartens, nursery classes and practice classes in Istanbul, officials said on Nov. 28.

Distance learning in pre-schools will start on Dec. 1 and run until Jan. 4, the provincial governor’s office said on Twitter.

The capital Ankara is also moving kindergartens and other early education classes to a virtual basis through the new year, local officials said on Nov. 29.

Early-age distance learning will start on Dec.1, and run until Jan. 4, the Ankara Provincial Governor's Office said in a statement.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week hinted that additional measures may be on the cards to curb the spread of the outbreak, stressing that despite all the warnings, people are still ignoring basic anti-virus rules.

“We have to and will take measures in line with the steps taken by the Health Ministry,” Erdoğan said.