Turkey may ease restrictions early June

Turkey may ease restrictions early June

Nuray Babacan – ANKARA
Turkey may ease restrictions early June

Officials are working on devising possible plans to pave the way for easing outbreak restrictions in light of the comments Health Minister Fahrettin Koca made recently when he said cases may plateau soon.

Turkey can reach the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in one week or 10 days, Koca said on April 17 following a meeting with the Science Board.

Koca added that the number of cases will start to decrease in two or three weeks.

If the number of new cases does not fluctuate and follow a path, as Koca suggested, returning to some sort of normalcy could be possible after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan and that is set to take place between May 23 and May 26 this year.

Officials stress that the next couple of weeks will be crucial, thus, developments will be closely monitored in order to lay out a new timetable in the fight against the outbreak.

Authorities, however, voice concern that there are still problems regarding the implementation of anti-virus measures: People do not fully comply with social distancing rules and violate curfews.

The outbreak is expected to reach its peak at different times in each province, according to the officials.

New decisions as to whether the curfews will be limited to weekends or extended further will be taken once new data are analyzed.

Authorities believe that Istanbul, the country’s largest city, is close to see a peak in the number of cases, whereas the capital Ankara, and İzmir, the third most populous province, are far from that point yet.

The Science Board may make new recommendations in light of the developments in the coming weeks.

Restrictions could be eased gradually after Eid al-Fitr and city-specific measures may be introduced at the start of June.