Spike in Istanbul traffic worries health minister

Spike in Istanbul traffic worries health minister

Spike in Istanbul traffic worries health minister

The heavy car traffic in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul prompted Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on late May 8 to issue yet another call for people to strictly adhere to rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Koca on social media shared an aerial photo of cars stuck in traffic in Istanbul’s Eminönü district, one of the city’s commercial and trade centers, with a comment: “It looks like Eminönü has returned to its pre-outbreak busy days. There is even a traffic jam! Let’s not rush anything at a time when we are making progress in the fight against the outbreak.”

“Cars may be safe, but until you open the door and step outside,” he wrote on Twitter.

In a series of posts, the minister urged people to wear face masks when they go out and heed social distancing rules.

“You never know who has the virus. Remain cautious, be on the safe side,” Koca wrote.

Earlier this week, Koca said that the results of efforts to counter the virus, as well as success in diagnosis and treatment in the country, had proved that Turkey has the pandemic under control.

Describing the new phase with loosened restrictions as “controlled social life,” Koca said, “The outbreak is under control but the realities on the virus have not changed.”

“The risk continues. Losing control will be an invitation for a second wave. We have seen this in many countries,” he warned on May 6 after the virtual meeting of the Coronavirus Science Board in the capital Ankara.