Some 95,000 people prevented from traveling amid outbreak thanks to mobile app: Minister
Nearly 95,000 people in Turkey who should be under self-isolation for being infected with COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone positive have been prevented from travelling thanks to a code obtained from a mobile application, the health minister has said.
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 and shares the maps of health services across the country.
Travelers wanting to travel to a different province must obtain this code, an approval from health authorities, which have introduced it as a mitigation effort to prevent exporting the virus to other cities in the country.
The risky area section on the HES application, together with the data matrix feature, will also show whether a case has been found before in a place recently, Koca added.
Holding an online meeting with the health directors of 81 provinces, Koca discussed the measures to be taken in the provinces where the increase in cases is intense, and new approaches in diagnosis and treatment.
Speaking at a press conference, Koca said that the most important indicator in terms of the consequences of the epidemic is the number of “seriously ill” patients.
Public negligence of strict coronavirus measures, including mandatory mask-wearing and self-isolation orders for positive patients, is largely blamed for the steady number in new cases.
In the past two weeks, the Interior Ministry has started weekly simultaneous nationwide checks for compliance, while local governor’s offices carry out random inspections.
Seniors blame youth
Meanwhile, measures were escalated in some cities within the scope of a circular sent by the Interior Ministry with 81 provinces.
But a ban on weddings announced in the Aegean province of Denizli was lifted after protests held by residents and musicians in front of the province’s governor’s office.
A temporary leave of two hours was given only this weekend, according to the new decision taken after the meeting of the protesters with the governor.
In some provinces, including the capital Ankara, Konya, Bursa and Manisa, citizens over the age of 65 were restricted from using public transportation, entering markets, and attending weddings and funerals.
Citizens over the age of 65, who learned about the news of the restriction in a marketplace where they came for shopping, reacted to the decision.
“We’re about to go crazy. Restrictions are always given to those above the age of 65,” said Muhittin Çalık, a 75-year-old citizen who was notified of the restriction decision while buying tomatoes in the market.
“We get the disease from young people,” said Sadettin Kaynar, another senior citizen who blames young people for not taking adequate measures.
“I have a disinfectant [in my pocket], I distribute it to passengers on [public] buses. I wish everyone was sensitive like me,” Kaynar added.