Istanbul takes additional measures to curb outbreak

Istanbul takes additional measures to curb outbreak

Istanbul takes additional measures to curb outbreak

Local authorities in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population, have added more measures to their anti-virus curb list to bring the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak under control.

In the Esenler district of the city, people are now allowed to enter the busy Dörtyol Square and Davutpaşa Avenue, where pedestrian mobility is high, only with a valid HES code.

HES, the acronym for “Hayat Eve Sığar” (Life Fits into Home), is a mobile application spearheaded by the Health Ministry that tracks the contraction of the COVID-19 virus.

Vendors in the district’s outdoor and indoor marketplaces are also required to have a HES code to conduct their business.

People and merchants without a valid HES code will be prevented from entering the Dörtyol square and the Davutpaşa Avenue and evaders will be fined.

In line with a recent directive from the Interior Ministry, police units in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district conducted inspection on public transport vehicles, including buses, shared-taxis and taxis to see if the drivers and passengers were using face masks and adhering to social distancing.

The drivers who failed to follow the rules were fined.

In the capital Ankara, as part of the flexible work hour schedule, employees in the city’s industrial sector will begin their shift at 7 a.m. starting Nov. 16. Their shift will end at 4 p.m.

By introducing new shift hours, the authorities aim to prevent overcrowded public transport during morning rush hours.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca once again took to Twitter to warn the public against the outbreak.

“The number of patients in critical condition is up 127 from the previous day. Our most effective weapon in these days when the pace of outbreak is gaining momentum is using the face mask properly to cover the mouth and the nose,” Koca tweeted.

“COVID-19 is spreading. Do not take risks. Wear face masks,” he wrote in a separate tweet.