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.
Pınar Ögünç writes: In the depths of the mines, the conditions of workers, whose lungs are already strained, have gotten darker amid the coronavirus epidemic. While production has come to a halt in Turkey's state-run mines, most of those working in the private sector carry on squeezed between hunger and death. 35-year-old Ahmet, a miner who hails from the province of Zonguldak and has been working in the Soma mines, tells his side of the story.
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.
A number of opposition parties told Duvar that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) can't risk holding early elections, since their support have decreased. According to a CHP official, Erdoğan wouldn't risk his possibility of serving eight more years starting from today.
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.
President Erdoğan has sent a letter to U.S. President Trump, voicing his hope that the U.S. Congress would better understand the strategic importance of their relations, given solidarity and supplies shared during the coronavirus pandemic. “I hope that in the upcoming period, with the spirit of solidarity we have displayed during the pandemic, Congress and the U.S. media will better understand the strategic importance of our relations,” he said.
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.
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.
Turkey’s main opposition urges Health Minister to relax COVID-19 travel bans for seniors, seasonal workers
Turkey's main opposition party CHP urged Health Minister Fahrettin Koca to permit older citizens to return to their hometowns after getting tested for COVID-19, instead of having to spend a hot summer in small apartments. The CHP also suggests an exception for citizens who travel to big cities to work in the winter, but need to be back in their hometowns for harvest season.
Istanbul's agriculture authority fined businesses some nine million Turkish Liras in the first four months of 2020, some for failing to adhere to COVID-19 precautions. The directorate conducted some 60,500 inspections until April 27.
Turkey on April 27 confirmed 95 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 2,900. The total number of registered coronavirus cases surged to 112,261.