Turkey's Interior Ministry detained 402 social media users in the past 42 days, on the grounds that they made "provocative comments about COVID-19." The ministry inspected some 6,362 social media accounts, and deemed 855 users "suspicious."
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.
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.
Nergis Demirkaya reports: According to Tevfiz Özlü from the Health Ministry's Science Committee, there is reason to be optimistic in Turkey for soon reaching a threshold when we could see a decline in number of the coronavirus cases. A scientific committee from the main opposition CHP came up with similar evaluations noting that the plateau of cases and deaths could start on April 27.
Turkish experts claim rampage ahead of 48-hour curfew increased COVID-19 spread rate, Health Minister denies
Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca denied that the rampage that preceded the 48-hour curfew on April 10 caused an increase in the spread rate of COVID-19. On the other hand, experts have pointed at the spike in the spread rate that measures more than half a percentage point and follows the crowded chaos of April 10 by exactly 10 days, as experts had predicted.
A recent poll revealed that Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are no longer able to rally up enough votes to form a government. While the AKP received 35.8 percent of votes, the MHP was revealed to have 12.2 percent backing. Individually, the AKP has lost 7 percent of its votes since June 2019.
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.
Turkey has room for further fiscal stimulus to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak as its response so far has been “pretty moderate” compared with other countries in similar positions, a Fitch Ratings executive said on April 23. The steps announced by the Turkish government so far are equivalent to around 2% of GDP, he added.
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.
Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 115 to total 2,491 and new confirmed cases rose by 3,116 to bring the country’s total to 101,790, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on April 23.
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.