Istanbul, İstiklal Avenue during the coronavirus pandemic

Health Minister acknowledges that new restrictions in Istanbul are “inevitable”

Turkey surpassed the barrier of 3,000 daily coronavirus infections this weekend. 6 in 10 Turks have suffered from COVID-19 closely.

Turkish Health Minister, Fahrettin Koca, has acknowledged that new tougher restrictions in Istanbul to curb the coronavirus seem “inevitable“, after the barrier of 3,000 infections per day was exceeded during the weekend.

Istanbul, the most populous city in Turkey with some 16 million inhabitants, is also the one with the highest number of positives for the virus and in fact accounts for 40% of all coronavirus infections.

“In our meeting with the provincial director of health and medical chiefs, we have addressed the hospital burden and contact tracing, and the restrictions seem inevitable in our new strategy to fight the virus,” Koca stated via Twitter, after on Saturday 3,116 new positives were registered in Turkey: the highest number of infections since April 24.

Turkish citizens in favor of tougher measures against coronavirus

According to a recent survey conducted by the Ipsos company, more than 50% of Turkish citizens would be in favor of the latest restrictions that force the closure of public places such as shops, cinemas, concert halls, cafes or restaurants starting at 10pm.

Only 6% of the participants oppose these measures, while 33% of the respondents actually believe that indoor places should be closed all day. In addition, 64% of those consulted are in favor of reintroducing curfews at the national level that existed during the first wave in March-April, and another 20% are in favor but restricting them to specific provinces.

The study, in which 6 out of 10 Turkish citizens acknowledge that someone from their close environment has been diagnosed with coronavirus, also indicates that 61% of those surveyed believe that not only Istanbul, but all Turkey is already going through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.