A mass wake gathering in the southeastern province of Van led to a jump in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez said that the number of coronavirus cases jumped to 51 in the Ortanca neighborhood, while also urging Van residents to refrain from holding funeral ceremonies. "Report those doing so to police or the gendarmerie for your and social health," Bilmez said.
A total of 44 convicts and arrestees were infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) in Silivri Prison, Istanbul's Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said on May 8, adding that two of them are receiving treatment at a hospital. "The treatment of 40 arrestees/convicts, who don't show any symptoms, were decided to be carried out at an isolation location established in the prison," it said.
A cyber attack targeting Istanbul Municipality's aid campaign website has disrupted its efforts. "We had to close access to our website because of an attack last night," spokesperson Murat Ongun said in a tweet on May 7. According to Ongun, a total of 41,883 bills were paid, amounting to 5,027,092 Turkish Liras.
Some 400,000 gowns sent from Turkey to the United Kingdom amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic failed to meet UK standards, as inspectors found the gear was "useless." UK officials inspected the gowns and discovered faults that rendered them too dangerous for use by NHS staff. Senior NHS sources suggested problems had been found with the type of material used and the length of the sleeves.
Three opposition parties, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the right-wing Good (İYİ) Party, have called on the government to revise the 2020 central budget following the shortcomings that occurred during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The deputies from the opposition parties said that the basic needs of the people were not met during the pandemic.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has criticized citizens for flocking to Istanbul's İstiklal Avenue with complete disregard to social distancing amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "All pictures from daily life need to support the daily coronavirus chart," he said, referring to the ministry's daily chart that includes the number of new coronavirus cases and the death toll.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry announced that some 473 Turkish citizens have died from COVID-19 abroad. Meanwhile, the second round of evacuations have been underway, with nearly 30,000 citizens returning to Turkey.
Prof. Tevfik Özlü from the Health Ministry's Science Committee has said that Turkey can return to normal in three months if measures implemented against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continue to be abided by. "We can see that the outbreak is waning in not only Turkey, but in the world. We are heading towards a period that's appropriate for discussing normalization. Life needs to return to normal and we can't normalize by sitting at home," Özlü said.
Istanbul Medical Chamber has warned against easing the measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus prematurely, saying that the cost of a wrong decision would be heavy. "Even though there's a decrease in the number of coronavirus patients in the eighth week of the pandemic, the severity of the threat in Istanbul is ongoing. We remind the authorities to evaluate the decision to ease the precautions within this scope and that a wrong decision adopted prematurely would have heavy costs," it said.
Istanbul Municipality’s COVID-19 consultation committee urged the government to implement an 11-day curfew, a week before and four days during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, beginning May 23. The committee noted that the end of Ramadan is a highly active time for family socialization and shopping, both of which require physical contact.
Turkey’s relaxation of COVID-19 precautions will be discussed in a cabinet meeting today. While food businesses and hair salons will reportedly open in May, tourism, transportation and cultural activities are expected to pick back up in June, according to a pro-government journalist who often gets a tip-off from President Erdoğan's inner cabinet.
The decision to send children to schools after the measures imposed against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are lifted will reportedly be up to parents. According to a pro-government daily, schools will remain shut for kindergarten and elementary school students.
Turkey's largest education union urged the Education Ministry to keep schools closed until scientific evidence surfaces that clearly proves that the COVID-19 threat is passed. The Education Ministry had hinted at June 1 for re-opening schools.
Ağrı Mayor Savcı Sayan has said that he will send medical masks to Hollywood stars and U.S. President Donald Trump amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Speaking to reporters in his office, Sayan praised Turkey for sending coronavirus medical aid to a number of countries, adding that Hollywood stars and several other celebrities have been experiencing difficulties in "desperation" in finding masks despite their fortune.
The air pollution in Istanbul fell around 30 percent following stay-at-home calls to curb the spread of the the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the city’s municipality. The municipality said the number of vehicles on the traffic dropped as a result of the measures against the spread of coronavirus in the city, including a four-day curfew last week.