Resort town Bodrum overcrowded amid outbreak

Resort town Bodrum overcrowded amid outbreak

Gül Mutlu - BODRUM
Resort town Bodrum overcrowded amid outbreak

AA Photo

Bodrum is highly popular among Turkish holiday-goers as many locals from Turkey’s biggest two cities have their summer houses in this town.

However, the holiday resorts on the Aegean coast, recently saw an influx of people, running away from larger cities in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The municipality, whose 175,000 population in the winter soars to a million-and-a-half during the summer, is doing everything it can to control the pandemic, but it does not have enough resources to fight the pandemic locally, the mayor of Bodrum told recently told the Hürriyet Daily News.

When asked whether the speculation that between 75,000 and 100,000 people have come to Bodrum in the last six weeks is true, mayor Ahmet Aras said: “We don’t have a definite number, but as we can observe from the density of people in the streets, marketplaces, and bazaars, the population has increased a lot.”

“If we hadn’t made that a call [to people not to come to the town] the people with second homes in Bodrum could have definitely moved here,” he said.

“I think it worked.”

Expressing that everything is under control in terms of health services, Aras summarized the situation of the hospitals in Bodrum as follows: “We have one public and two private hospitals, family health centers, and a few clinics. Even in winter, this seems insufficient in the event of an emergency.”

Still, Aras says the state and capacity of the hospital in the district are acceptable at the moment but emphasizes that the municipality’s resources and budget will not be enough if this emergency situation continues.

“Our budget is cut right now. We cannot create resources, we only have expenses. We had donations, but the government issued a circular and banned it, even though donations are permitted in the law on municipalities,” he noted.

Aras also said that the mobility of the people in the streets should be restricted in line with the measures taken against the coronavirus, saying at least a partial curfew might be enough.

“All unnecessary movements other than people working in public services, health, food, and logistics should be banned. We could call it a partial curfew,” he added.