Citizens with South African COVID-19 variant 'quarantined under inhumane conditions'

Citizens infected with the South African variant of the novel coronavirus have been placed in a student dormitory under quite inhumane conditions, said a CHP lawmaker. Gamze Taşçıer said that patients are not being provided with a healthy diet, and cleanliness and hygiene standards are not maintained at the dormitory.

Medics wearing protective suits, members of Turkish Health Ministry's COVID-19 contact tracing team leave after visiting a home in this file photo.

Duvar English

A majority of Turkish citizens who have been infected with the South African variant of the COVID-19 virus have been placed in quarantine at a student dormitory under quite inhumane conditions, said main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) MP Gamze Taşcıer.

Taşçıer told daily Birgün on April 2 that the dormitory in Ankara's Beytepe district offers a very poor cleaning and hygiene service, and patients' linens are not changed.

Taşçıer based her remarks on interviews with citizens who left the dormitory upon completing their quarantine process.

“It is as if citizens infected with the South African variant have been jailed under conditions that no one should be exposed to. Patients have told about the treatment they faced in the remarks of 'We could understand if we were in a prison camp or student dormitory.' They were kept in a room that has only a bed and nightstand for 10-15 days,” the CHP MP said.

The MP said that although good nutrition and vitamins are crucial for COVID-19 patients, citizens staying at this dormitory had not been provided with a healthy diet.

“One of the citizens who was placed under quarantine said that one orange and one pearl were the only sources of natural vitamin they had been provided with during the 10 days. Sick people need to get natural vitamins but they were not given,” she said.

The CHP also said that patients had not been given a sufficient amount of water. “They should normally drink a lot of water, but are given three 0.5-liter water bottles. Their dinners are given in very small portions...You would think it is not a dormitory, but a Nazi concentration camp. Would a state treat its sick citizens like this?” she asked.

Earlier this week, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that COVID-19 variants had become the predominant trains in Turkey. He said on March 31 that the U.K. variant now accounts for 75 percent of virus cases circulating across the nation, with 180,448 cases.  

Koca also noted that the country detected 169 cases of the South African strain in 11 provinces, four cases of the Brazilian variant in two provinces, and two of the California-New York strain in one province.