Restrictions mulled for New Year celebrations amid COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey

Restrictions mulled for New Year celebrations amid COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey

Turkey’s uphill battle against the coronavirus pandemic took another turn a few days ago as the nation added weekday curfews and expanded weekend restrictions into lockdowns. Professor Mustafa Necmi Ilhan, a member of the Health Ministry Social Sciences Board that recommends COVID-19 measures for the government, says a four-day curfew should be discussed to decrease mobility during the upcoming New Year, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.

New Year celebrations are large-scale events, especially in big cities where people en masse take to the streets for a countdown to the new year. Ilhan says a curfew should be imposed from Dec. 31 through the following weekend. “We can restrict people from convening on the streets, we can prevent people from meeting at homes for New Year parties. The same curfew was applied in Ramadan Bayram,” he said, referring to the Muslim holiday that was observed in May when coronavirus cases were climbing.

After strict restrictions in the spring, Turkey eased into a normalization process early in the summer. The nation's number of patients steadily decreased but as autumn began, the country started experiencing a new surge. The total number of patients now exceeds 506,000 while fatalities are near 14,000. Recoveries stand at 409,320.

Ilhan notes that the greatest measure against the pandemic is the one citizens take themselves. “People have to take responsibility. You see people coming together on the weekends, be it outside or at homes. Then, we see a rise in the number of patients in the ensuing days. Contact tracing work shows infections mostly stem from people coming together for weekends at homes. People should confine themselves to home and spend time only with family,” he warned. “People should not host parties at home or attend parties. No one should admit guests. If they need to come together at all, they should be in well-ventilated places, wear masks and be careful about social distancing,” he told Demiroren News Agency (DHA) on Wednesday.

Starting on Tuesday, the government imposed a 9 p.m. - 5 a.m. curfew on weekdays. An all-out weekend lockdown will also be in place between Friday night and Monday morning for the first time in months.

Restrictions for Istiklal Avenue

Apart from nationwide curfews, the government authorized local administrations to take their own, specific measures against the outbreak based on trends. To that extent, the pandemic board of Istanbul district Beyoglu decided to limit access to Istiklal, the iconic avenue at the heart of the city that hosts thousands every day. The gateway to Taksim Square is lined with shops and is one of the top destinations for tourists. A new decision by the board announced on Tuesday will limit access to the strip to only 7,000 people at one time. The restriction will start at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Beyoglu district governor Mustafa Demirelli announced on Twitter that access is restricted to curb infection risk. He said the section of the street between Taksim Square and Tünel Square may be shut down temporarily if the number of people exceeds 7,000. He also said pedestrians would only be allowed to walk on the right side of the avenue which is divided by a long nostalgic tram road. “We expect business owners on the avenue, our foreign guests and citizens to understand and comply with restrictions,” Demirelli said. Authorities said physical obstacles would be placed at the entrances to the avenue to limit access. The plan is to have only one person per 3 square meters (32 square feet) on the 21,000-square-meter street. Police officers already patrol the avenue to encourage adherence to social-distancing and mask-wearing rules and to issue warnings or fines to those failing to comply with the rules.

Vaccine hopes

In the meantime, Turkey is looking forward to mass vaccination as the ultimate solution for the pandemic. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Tuesday that a Chinese vaccine would be delivered first to health care workers after Dec. 11 and to millions more the following months. Hasan Murat Gunduz, a member of the ministry’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, says they predict the majority of society will gain immunity to the virus with vaccination. “We will head toward a healthy summer,” he told Ihlas News Agency (IHA) on Wednesday.

Mass public vaccinations are scheduled after health care workers and Gunduz says this might start in January. “We expect a rise in immunity in a significant portion of the public,” he said. Professor Mehmet Ceyhan, who heads the Children’s Infectious Diseases Department at Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine in the capital Ankara, says up to 80% of the population should be vaccinated for immunity of 60% of the population. “This means a vaccination of 55 million to 60 million people. Each requires two doses so overall, we will need up to 120 million vaccines,” he told DHA on Wednesday.

Turkey made an agreement with China to purchase 50 million vaccine doses, authorities announced earlier. The Chinese vaccine will be free for everyone, while those from other companies and countries might be sold at pharmacies. Koca announced earlier that Turkey was in talks with Germany to purchase some 25 million doses.

Azerbaijan completes repair and construction work on roads of Samukh district
Azerbaijan completes repair and construction work on roads of Samukh district
Weekly review of events in agricultural sector of Azerbaijan
Weekly review of events in agricultural sector of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan shows footage from Ashaghi Aybasanli village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan shows footage from Ashaghi Aybasanli village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Loading Bars
5 terrorists killed in NW Pakistan
Saudi sovereign fund to double assets in next five years to $1.07 trillion - Crown Prince
Azerbaijan completes repair and construction work on roads of Samukh district
Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds in Iran
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 25
Weekly review of events in agricultural sector of Azerbaijan
Khazar Consortium opens tender for purchase of cartridges, toners
Georgian exports of knitwear to Turkey decreases
Turkmenistan’s State Concern to sign contract with Chinese company for drilling pipes purchase
Israeli embassy welcomes scheduled resumption of flights to Georgia
Bazargan border reopened after unprecedented snow
Cobalt becomes most produced car in Uzbekistan last year
Turkey registers more than 5 200 new coronavirus cases
Mexican authorities recover 19 bodies, some shot and burned, in remote area
Israel bans international flights to curb coronavirus spread
Bulk of construction work completed in Uzbekistan falls on private sector
Turkey to receive 6.5 million doses of China's vaccine next week
Dutch police arrest alleged Asian drug syndicate kingpin
Georgia reports 546 coronavirus cases, 1 456 recoveries, 17 deaths
Germany ready to assist Kyrgyzstan in implementing green economy policies
President Rouhani: Iran's economic ties entering new phase
UK detects 77 cases of South African COVID variant, nine of Brazilian
Azerbaijan shows footage from Ashaghi Aybasanli village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Implementation of drilling operations continue in Iran's oil fields
China sees fall in new COVID-19 cases amid strict local lockdowns
Iran's NIDC declares number of drilled oil & gas wells
Iran unveils details of exports via Bilasuvar border checkpoint
Uzbekistan to launch charter flights from Russia to Tashkent
Chinese smartphone maker discloses amount invested in opening factories in Turkey
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Georgia's import of tubes, pipes, hollow profiles from Turkey increases
Body of Azerbaijani citizen killed on Turkish ship to be sent to his homeland soon - Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry
Israel to start COVID-19 vaccination for high school students
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 24
Azerbaijan confirms 568 more COVID-19 recoveries
Portugal votes for new president at height of pandemic
Expert talks promoting import of electric and hybrid vehicles to Azerbaijan
Turkmennebit opens tender for purchase of various equipment
Azerbaijan shows footage from Jomerd village of Kalbajar district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Sales of goods at Iran Mercantile Exchange spike
Iran reveals amount of loans issued to manufacturing companies
Georgia increases export of marine mammals, fish fats, oils and their fractions to Turkey
S&P talks about Azerbaijan's GDP growth in 2022-2024
Turkey set to receive second vaccine shipment from China soon
Russia records over 21,100 daily coronavirus cases
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Kazakhstan's exports volume to Georgia increases multifold
Azerbaijan's strategic foreign exchange reserves increase year on year
Iran announces volume of sprat caught in Caspian Sea
Azerbaijan shares footage from Ashaghi Veysalli village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Consumption of steel products in Iran increases
3 injured as blast hits vehicle in Kabul
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Georgia reveals data on exports of semi-finished products of iron or non-alloy steel to Turkey
Iranian companies join UN CTCN
Kazakhstan’s daily COVID-19 case count stands at 1,584
Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
UK to quarantine visitors from nations with high COVID-19 risk
China rescues first person from Shandong gold mine: state media
Over 2 mln coronavirus cases registered in Colombia
Israel reports 4,550 new COVID-19 cases, 593,578 in total
Iran's Marun Oil & Gas Production Company manufactures certain equipment
Iran to begin COVID-19 vaccinations in coming weeks: President Rouhani
France registers 23,924 new COVID-19 cases, 230 deaths in one day
Turkmenenergo to sign new contracts with foreign companies
7.0-magnitude quake hits South Shetland Islands: CENC
Turkey reports 5,856 new COVID-19 cases, 2,424,328 in total
After first phone call, UK PM Johnson looks forward to working with Biden
UK records another 33,552 coronavirus cases, 1,348 deaths
WHO reports over 600,000 new daily cases of COVID-19
Azerbaijani, Turkish FMs discuss pirate attack on ship
Top Spanish general resigns over allegations of vaccination queue-jumping
Pirates hijack Turkish ship off coast of Guinea, one person killed
BMB Trade Group and Uzbek Saffron Research Center discuss saffron cultivation and processing
Trend TV shares video report from plundered during Armenian occupation Azerbaijani Zangilan
Belarus, Kazakhstan seek closer cooperation in exchange trade
Management of Azerbaijan's State Oil Company being improved - Decree
New staff of Azerbaijani SOCAR's Supervisory Board approved
Georgia's external merchandise trade down 14.8% in 2020
Turkey halts flights from Brazil due to new COVID-19 variant
Gas pressure in Iran's South Pars gas field projected to decrease
Iran's gas processing potential to increase
Portugal holds presidential election as COVID-19 cases spiral
Italy reports 488 coronavirus deaths and 13,331 new cases
Italy to rethink vaccine roll out if supply problems persist
US broadcaster, journalist Larry King dies aged 87
Russia signs deal with Turkey on vaccine production
Azerbaijani MoD issues footage from Kalbajar district's Gamishli village (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Manat exchange rate against dollar to remain unchanged - Standard & Poor's
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling in Iran
Azerbaijan considering issues of regional schools damaged during Karabakh War
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 24
State subsidy to increase from 10 to 15 GEL per 50 kg of wheat flour in Georgia
Goods transit via Iran's Bileh Savar on rise
Tax authorities of Kyrgyzstan, Russia discuss launch of joint project
Japan's COVID-19 death toll exceeds 5,000 as total cases surpass 360,000
Indian gov't confirms outbreak of bird flu
Azerbaijani president expresses condolences to Ukranian counterpart
Bulgaria to ease some COVID-19 rules, restaurants closed for now
COVID-19 vaccine delays may slow wider Irish roll-out, says PM
All news