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.
Turkish Education Minister Ziya Selçuk said late on April 29 that schools might reopen on June 1 if normalization from the coronavirus pandemic goes as planned. Earlier in the day, he had announced that that the country extended remote education until May 31.
A member of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) warned that misinformation about the use of surgical masks could create increased risk of spreading COVID-19. Prof. Dr. Özlem Kurt Azap noted that surgical masks should not be used more than once, can not be disinfected and should be disposed of properly.
Prof. Ateş Kara from the Health Ministry's Science Commission has warned against the re-acceleration of the coronavirus spread if it's not fully brought under control. Commenting on whether a normalization process is near, Kara said, "Think about this outbreak as a major fire. If you don't take the fire completely under control and extinguish it, it can grow even larger with the slightest wind. That's why we shouldn't relax."
Turkey’s Interior Ministry fined more than 35,000 persons for the four-day curfew that aimed to slow the spread of coronavirus. The ministry however said that over 63 million people had adhered to the rules, although they didn’t specify how this number was obtained.
AKP mayor criticizes comparing opposition mayors to ‘terrorists,’ backpedals to avoid contradicting Erdoğan
Mayor Fatma Şahin has criticized likening CHP municipalities to "terrorist organizations," but backpedaled after learning that it was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who did the comparison. "They are mayors elected with the votes of the people. Even if their methods are different, we can sit and talk, but I don't find such a comparison appropriate," Şahin said. Şahin then released a statement, saying that it's out of question for her to make statements that contradict the policies determined by Erdoğan.
Turkey has ranked 64th out of 77 countries in access to a computer for schoolwork in a report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Turkey came in 70th in terms of internet access for students, falling closer to the end of the report's list with countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic, whereas Denmark, Finland and Estonia ranked among the top.
Istanbul's Princes' Islands will be closed off to entrances and exits as of April 26, until the end of May. Residents of the islands, public servants and essential workers will be exempt from the ban if they provide proof of their residence or duties.
Turkish engineers' union representatives have warned against a potential food crisis triggered by the halt in imports caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While Turkey produces most of its rice, corn and cotton, about one third is imported, a representative said, adding that a pause in imports could cause short supplies in the near future.
Presidential spokesperson says it’s not possible to state when coronavirus measures will be lifted in Turkey
President Erdoğan's spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said that it's not possible to state when the measures imposed against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will be lifted. Kalın's statements are in contrast with the remarks of Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik, who said that gradual normalization may begin after Eid al-Fitr, which ends on May 26.
A World Health Organization (WHO) representative said that they were "cautiously optimistic" about the COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey as the number of new daily cases stabilize. Although the country still observes an increase in the number of patients daily, early precautions have allowed numbers to stabilize.
A group of Turkish health workers joined in on the "corona foot-shake challenge," created by an American doctor and a favorite among health workers worldwide. Accompanied by a song named "Oh Na Na Na," the dance routine involves an intricate series of foot steps that mimic handshakes.
Store owners in Western Turkey bazaar hold WhatsApp vote to re-open stores despite COVID-19 closures
The shop owners of the historical Alipaşa Bazaar in the western province of Edirne held a vote on chatting application WhatsApp, and ruled in favor of re-opening their stores ahead of Ramadan. As the bazaar had been closed late March to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Edirne Governor's Office shut down the shops within one day.
Traffic police officers fined some 90 passengers in the eastern province of Erzurum for trying to forge travel permits. Erzurum is among the 31 cities in Turkey where passengers need travel permits to leave or enter. The 90 fines totaled some 283,500 liras (about $50,000).
Müzeyyen Yüce reports: A member of Turkey's Coronavirus Science Committee warned that the COVID-19 outbreak could affect as much as 60 percent of the population. While the current preventative measures slow the spread, these may need to stay in place until a vaccine is found, Prof. Serap Şimşek Yavuz said.