Turkey brings in more stringent virus measures as death toll rises to 30
The Turkish government has been extending its measures against the novel coronavirus outbreak, from suspended flights and limited work hours to more stringent disinfection works, as the death toll increased to 30 on March 22 with a total of 1,236 cases.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said late on March 22 that the death toll from coronavirus increased by nine to 30, and the number of confirmed cases rose by 289. The number of confirmed cases reached 1,236 as of March 22 evening.
Koca said that a total of 20,345 tests to detect the coronavirus cases had been carried out.
On March 11, Turkey became the last major economy to report a case of the coronavirus.
The Turkish government has been implementing strict measures since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, from flight bans to schools temporarily closing.
More than 11,000 people quarantined
Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoğlu said on March 23 that more than 11,000 people who arrived in Turkey from abroad have been quarantined in 36 dormitories across 23 provinces
“Our dormitories, which have been home to brilliant children of our country, are now hosting our guests from abroad,” Kasapoğlu tweeted.
Istanbul is currently hosting 1,955 people, Ankara 3,058, Konya 2,180, Kocaeli 891 and Isparta 586, he said, noting that the quarantined people will be closely monitored for symptoms of coronavirus.
Turkish Airlines halts all int’l flights, except five destinations
Turkish Airlines will halt all its international flights as of March 27, except those to Hong Kong, Moscow, Ethiopia, New York, and Washington, its CEO said on March 22.
Cargo flights and domestic flights will continue, CEO Bilal Ekşi wrote on Twitter.
The carrier was not using 85 percent of its planes, its board chairman said earlier on March 22.
Turkish Airlines also suspended its services for passengers aged 65 or above as part of coronavirus measures of the country.
The flight ban includes the following countries: Angola, Austria, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Czechia, China, Colombia, Djibouti, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Georgia, Hungary, India, Italy, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Montenegro, Mongolia, Morocco, Moldova, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Norway, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Oman, the Philippines, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkish Cyprus, Taiwan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, the U.K., and Ukraine.
Remote working for civil servants, limited work hours for banks
Turkey is also allowing civil servants to work from home and in shifts as part of coronavirus measures, according to a presidential decree published on the Official Gazette on March 22.
The flexible work arrangements apply to employees of public institutions and organizations, the decree read.
The decision for state workers, who were previously being considered for administrative leave, will be valid until a new one is made, it added.
The Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) also decided to limit the work hours of bank employees.
According to the decision, which was sent as an advice to all banks, bank employees will now work from 12:00 p.m. (0900GMT) to 05:00 p.m. (1500GMT).
Many banks abided by the TBB’s decision, limiting their work hours, including Garanti BBVA, Türkiye İş Bankası and Yapı Kredi Bankası.