Teams go door-to-door to check on people in isolation
The neighborhood teams have been launched following a directive by the Interior Ministry after it emerged that some people were avoiding quarantine and self-isolation rules and venturing outside.
The nine-person teams include school principals, muhtars (local heads of neighborhoods), imams and teachers.
The teams communicate with the people in isolation through balconies or windows to inquire whether they are in need of anything.
The teams also fine up to 3,500 Turkish Lira (around $460) and take legal action against those who violate isolation rules.
“We pay home visits according to a list from the Health Ministry. Those lists are updated every two or three days as new people who tested positive are added to the list,” said Ertuğ Kıyasoğlu, the head of such a team operating in Istanbul’s Sancaktepe district.
The teams visit the same person not once but several times, he noted.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca recently said the Hayat Eve Sığar (Life Fits into Home) HES mobile application helped identify some 140,000 quarantine evaders.
Turkey is also using the filiation method of screening the chain of contact of the infectious disease as part of the country’s efforts to curb the virus.
The number of personnel in the filiation teams had been increased to more than 11,000 from 6,000, Koca said on Sept. 16.
“The filiation system implemented in Turkey is unprecedented in the world,” Koca had told daily Hürriyet.
If Turkey had not this system in place, “we would have been wretched,” he added.