Istanbul, queues at a shopping mall amidst pandemic

Coronavirus experts warn against queues to buy in stores

“We should not go to stores en masse if there is no justified reason. The less we move and leave home, the fewer infections there will be,” experts in the pandemic recall.

Although shopping malls, hairdressers and many stores opened for the first time this week in Turkey, after almost 2 months with the doors closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, several experts have got surprised after seeing the images of long lines of people waiting to enter in shopping malls, which have opened between strict security measures.

This is the case of Professor Ahmet Demircan, one of the members of the National Scientific Council on Coronavirus, which is the body in charge of coordinating with the Turkish government the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and who described as “incredible” the images of the long queues seen this week to enter shopping malls, especially in big cities like Istanbul.

“So far we have seen that the virus has caused far fewer infections than it could have caused, because people have stayed home. There should be no reason to flock to shopping malls unless for a valid reason. The images of the queues are incredible,” said the professor.

“Never leave home without a mask, never take it off your face”

“If we absolutely need to buy something at the mall, we should just go to that store and then immediately leave the mall,” Demircan warned. “Never leave home without a mask, never take it off your face,” insisted the expert, also remembering that the mask -which is already mandatory to go outside in many cities in Turkey- must be put on and used properly so that it can be effective.

“We must scrupulously comply with the rules of hygiene and social distancing, especially in places that are currently allowed to operate, such as hairdressers and shopping malls,” Demircan stressed, insisting again that “the less we move, the fewer the number of infections.”

In addition to alerting against the queues of people seen this week at the entrance of stores and malls, the coronavirus expert also referred to the recent decision of the Turkish basketball and volleyball federations to permanently suspend the leagues this season. “All the groups are at risk,” Demircan said satisfied with the move, despite the fact that the Turkish Football Federation will resume the league in June.