Turkey limiting public services for virus violators
Turkey is tightening its grip on the implementation of COVID-19 measures, including limiting public services for those who are fined for violating the rules, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.
“Paying the fines imposed following mask and venue inspections is now mandatory for any request made with public institutions to get through,” Erdoğan announced on Sept. 21 following a cabinet meeting, indicating that violators will not get any work done at a public institution unless they pay their fines.
As part of the stricter measures Erdoğan announced, inspections on cafes and restaurants will be carried out more frequently and the local health boards will have the authority to take and implement special precautions if needed.
“Curbs on the travel hours for people aged above 65 could be imposed on province basis. People who are under isolation will be more closely monitored to check if they are adhering to the rules,” Erdoğan said.
The recent rise in the number of virus cases and patients is “saddening,” said Erdoğan, calling on the public to strictly follow the hygiene, protective face mask, and social distancing rules.
He stressed that Turkey is carrying on its fight with the outbreak with determination by deploying all its capacity available.
Since the start of the pandemic, Turkey has been an exemplary country in the world with the measures it takes and the treatment it provided to patients, he added.
“What lies behind this is the big transformation undertaken in the health system over the past 18 years. We have successfully managed the [pandemic] crisis thanks to the high capacity health institutions, including city hospitals.”
The president announced that human trials for a locally produced virus vaccine will begin in the coming months.
“We are making a good progress in developing our own vaccine and closely following the developments in the world,” Erdoğan said.
The phase of testing the potential vaccine on animals in two of eight vaccine development works has been completed, he noted, adding that the facilities of one private company are being overhauled to produce vaccine.
“God willing, we are planning to make the vaccine available to the public in the first months of next year,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan also criticized the United Nation’s belated response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The United Nations, which acknowledged the existence of the [coronavirus] pandemic weeks later, did not show any presence in terms of taking the necessary measures to combat the pandemic or meeting the needs,” he said.
“The U.N., which failed at every front from Syria to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, to developments in volatile regions such as Africa and South America, has failed once again during the pandemic,” Erdoğan added.