A 30-year-old Chinese tourist who got lost on a hike in the southern province of Antalya was rescued by the local gendarmerie and the National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE). The officers wore masks and gloves while rescuing Jingyun Lan due to the coronavirus pandemic that's killed 59 people in Turkey as of March 25.
Turkey’s financial “shield package” against the blow of the coronavirus might be forcing small businesses into more debt. Turkey’s preventative measures will allow for 100 billion Turkish Liras’ worth of loans and debts to be deferred with interest for three months.
The southeastern border province of Mardin is lacking precautions against the coronavirus, particularly among the trade workers who regularly travel across the Turkish border, the local medical chamber co-chair said. “As far as we know, we have about 500 residents under home quarantine right now, most of them drivers,” Dr. Osman Sağlam said.
Rapid tests not as reliable as Polmyerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests but still useful, Turkish experts agree
Turkish excerpts agree that while rapid testing kits for coronavirus can be faulty at times, they are a good tool to allow healthcare workers to prioritize patients for the diagnostic test. The antibody test is more reliable, however, it takes five to six days after infection for the antibodies to appear in the patient’s bloodstream and for them to test positive.
Hotels in the metropolis Istanbul and the capital Ankara will be hosting healthcare workers for free, they said March 24. The five-star The Marmara on Istanbul's central Taksim Square will welcome workers from two nearby hospitals, Independent Turkish reported.
Ankara recently deferred tax payments for some businesses due to “force majeure" as part of its initiative to soften the blow of the coronavirus on the economy. Force majeure is a legal term that refers to an unforeseen “superior force,” in this case the coronavirus, that interrupts someone’s ability to fulfill legal or financial obligations.
The first batch of rapid coronavirus test kits were brought to Turkey from China early on March 23. A cargo plane of Turkish Cargo was sent to Shanghai to carry the first batch of the tests. The plane landed in Istanbul's Atatürk Airport at around 4 a.m.
CNN Türk barred seven field reporters and nine videographers from its building, relocating them to prefabricated sheds in the parking lot. “Is this your understanding of a precaution?” Turkey’s Journalists’ Union said in a tweet March 22.
Turkey is allowing civil servants to work from home and in shifts as part of measures to address the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to an announcement published March 22 in the Official Gazette. The decision for state workers, who were previously being considered for administrative leave, will be valid until a new one is made, it added.
A group of Turkish taxi drivers have protested the decrease in the number of passengers, as hundreds of thousands of people have been refraining from going outside to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). "The drivers are in a race to earn money. Accident risks are increasing. We are working for the owner of the licence plate," Yunus Başboğa, a taxi driver speaking on behalf of the group, said on March 20.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has urged people to declare their own state of emergencies. "They ask me whether we will declare a state of emergency. There is no need to do that. You should take your own measures," Koca said, adding that people should refrain from going outside in the next two to three weeks.
Doctor says there are thousands of coronavirus cases in Turkey in secret footage, forced to apologize
Doctor Güle Çınar was forced to apologize after saying in a secret footage that there are thousands of coronavirus cases in Turkey contrary to the numbers cited by officials. “The number of cases is at thousands. The numbers are not at hundreds as officials reveal. It's now in the society and Istanbul is in a terrible condition. It also started terrible in Ankara,” Çınar says in the video that surfaced on social media on March 18.
Turkish Medical Association releases explanatory videos for healthy individuals, coronavirus patients, caretakers
The Turkish Medical Association released two explanatory videos on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus. One speaks to civilians, the other to healthcare professionals. Amongst other things, Prof. Özlem Kurt Azap, a member of the TTB Coronavirus Inspection Group, says civilians should only wear masks if they are infected, or in contact with coronavirus patients.
The capacity of intensive care units in Turkey have been under scrutiny, with experts pointing to the shortcomings that may emerge if the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase in the country. Experts point to the lack of beds, ventilators and healthcare professionals. Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Fikret Şahin, who is also a medical doctor, said that the beds will be left insufficient if the number of cases exceed 250,000.
Turkey's lira weakened to 6.52 against the dollar on March 19, hitting its weakest level since September 2018. In August and September 2018, Turkish Lira hit record lows against the dollar when relations between Turkey and the United States significantly deteriorated over the imprisonment of a U.S. pastor in Turkey.