Stricter measures may be in the offing amid normalization phase
Nuray Babacan - Ankara
As the latest data point to a rise in the number of coronavirus infections in Turkey, officials are now weighing options on how to stem the spread of the virus in the wake of the controlled normalization phase.
Authorities may introduce localized measures to be implemented in a province depending on the pandemic outlook.
Virus-related measures will be reassessed after the biweekly map that shows the risk situation in each province is released later this week.
Once the map is out, governors of medium-risk provinces could announce tighter curbs, which are normally implemented in very-high-risk provinces, for the crowded and risky quarters of the city, such as certain neighborhoods, streets, avenues and parks.
As part of those measures, people may be asked to provide a valid HES code, which is a virus contact tracing application, to enter those areas.
Also, under consideration are the possible restrictions on travel from very-high-risk provinces to medium-risk provinces.
In order to take the mobility between those provinces under control, authorities will check HES codes of travelers on the borders between the provinces. At some point, travel from very-high-risk provinces to medium-risk provinces may be completely banned depending on the situation.
Officials reckoned that as measures are tightened in the period ahead, the pandemic outlook in the Black Sea region, which is home to provinces with the highest infection rates in the country, will improve but the situation may get worse in low-risk provinces in the eastern and southeastern provinces as the weather gets warmer.
Local authorities will have a larger responsibility to manage the process under new rules and they will need to inform and warn the local population regularly, official said.
The country’s health system can easily handle up to 15,000 and 20,000 virus cases but if the daily number of infections rise beyond this, risks may emerge, they noted.