Istanbul residents urged not to travel
“If you are in Istanbul. Do not leave [the city]. You could be a spreader without symptoms, you could be an undetected contact. Unless it is necessary, delay your trip,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter.
“Forty percent of all cases in Turkey are in your city,” Koca said, addressing the residents of Istanbul.
The minister also advised the people not to visit their elderly, who have returned to Istanbul, saying that face-to-face contact could be dangerous.
Koca also warned people who plan to travel to the megacity. He called on people to check for possible symptoms seven days prior to the planned visit and cancel their trip if they had any symptoms of the coronavirus.
Osman Bilgin, governor of the western province of Kırklareli, near Istanbul, warned that the number of virus cases has increased substantially in the city.
“Intensive care units at the city’s hospitals are almost full. At this point we cannot properly manage the outbreak under such conditions. The doctors may have to make a choice between the patients,” Bilgin said.
He noted that 50 percent of cases in Kırklareli emanated from home visits and contact between family members in the same household.
Officials, including the members of the Health Ministry’s Science Board, are currently discussing possible measures to be introduced in the face of the surge in the number of infections across the country, daily Hürriyet reported.
They are considering targeted curbs instead of blanket restrictions, such as shorter business hours for restaurants and bars, which currently serve customers until midnight, according to the daily.
The new curbs on restaurants and bars may be implemented starting in Istanbul, the Marmara region, the capital Ankara and İzmir, the country’s third largest city by population.
Moreover, additional restrictions could be on the cards for indoor public places. Accordingly, service hours for public transport and stores and working hours for factories could be rearranged, the daily reported.