Turkey facing 'a critical week' to curb virus spread, says member of Coronavirus Committee

This week is “very critical” to curb the speed of the coronavirus' spread in Turkey, and the country's success will depend on whether citizens are abiding by the measures, said Prof. Alpay Azap, a member of the Health Ministry's Coronavirus Science Committee.

Nergis Demirkaya / Duvar

Prof. Dr. Alpay Azap, a member of Turkish Health Ministry's Coronavirus Science Committee, has said that this week is “very critical” to curb coronavirus spread, and Turkey's success will depend on whether citizens are abiding by the measures.

“This week is very critical. There are many places that lost the control [in terms of limiting the spread speed], but throughout Turkey, with some effective measures, we can pull many places together in a short period of time,” Azap told Gazete Duvar.

Azap said that there were members of the Coronavirus Committee who have been urging the government to implement a curfew to contain the virus, but this approach was not the Committee's overall stance.

Azap does not think that a general curfew for across Turkey would be the right approach, but instead he favors a city-based curfew. And the extent of measures should be determined by the pandemic council of that specific province, he said.

“There is a different scene for every province, so different measures need to be adopted for every province. For example, Ankara is not that bad, and Istanbul and [the Marmara province of] Kocaeli seem to be at the center of the issue [coronavirus],” Azap said, adding that the virus seems to have reached these two provinces one or two weeks before other provinces in Turkey.

“Also, the southeastern region needs to be evaluated within its own framework due to its crowded family structure,” he said.

Alpay also emphasized the importance of pandemic councils in the fight against coronavirus on his social media.

“One of the most important decisions taken is the establishment of pandemic coordination councils. In those councils headed by the governors, there will be that province's health executives, local executives and scientists. The councils will determine the medical, administrative, social and economical problems specific to that province/district and will put the solutions into life,” he wrote on Twitter.