WORLD / EUROPE
Turkish authorities warn citizens to reduce mobility, stay home to curb pandemic
Published: Apr 29, 2021 12:14 PM
Children play near the Bosporus Straits in Istanbul, Turkey, April 26, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

Children play near the Bosporus Straits in Istanbul, Turkey, April 26, 2021.Photo:Xinhua


 
People ride bikes near the Bosporus Straits in Istanbul, Turkey, April 26, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

People ride bikes near the Bosporus Straits in Istanbul, Turkey, April 26, 2021.Photo:Xinhua


 
Medical workers transfer a COVID-19 patient at a hospital in Ankara, Turkey, on April 24, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

Medical workers transfer a COVID-19 patient at a hospital in Ankara, Turkey, on April 24, 2021.Photo:Xinhua


 
Turkish authorities urged citizens Wednesday to reduce their mobility and stay home as the country prepares to enter into a more than two-week full lockdown on Thursday.

"Those who want to turn the full closing period into a holiday opportunity by going to their summer houses or renting apartments in resort towns may lead to an increase in (COVID-19) cases," Mustafa Necmi Ilhan, a member of the Health Ministry's Scientific Committee, told the Demiroren news agency.

The lockdown will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday and will run until May 17, and intercity travels will not be allowed, except for compulsory cases.

"I invite our citizens to obey the rules at a time when the state has taken so many precautions, and healthcare professionals have been on duty for the last 13 months without a leave," Ilhan added, indicating the presence of the high risk of COVID-19 contamination.

Meanwhile, the escape from Turkey's most crowded city Istanbul has been continuing for the last 24 hours, and the traffic intensity went up to 65 percent at 11:30 a.m. local time.

Media footage showed the congregation of vehicles on the highways connecting Istanbul to other cities.

"The way to reduce the number of cases is not to come together in crowds," Ilhan noted, calling on people to cease the mobility and stay within the nuclear family.

But the density continues to grow at the main bus terminal in Istanbul, and most of the tickets from the city to other provinces were sold out, according to press reports.

"For the first time in a year, our buses are full," Adnan Ayhan, a staff of a bus company, told the NTV broadcaster. "Everyone is on the run, mostly going to their hometowns."

The reservations at hotels in Turkey's most popular resort towns, such as Bodrum in the southwestern province of Mugla, have gone up to 45 percent.

Bodrum Mayor Ahmet Aras told Xinhua that people with good economic conditions who do not want to spend this restriction period in apartments in metropolitan cities would prefer the region, causing an increase in the population of the town in the upcoming period.

"We continuously make warnings through several channels, so that those who come to Bodrum from outside will be sensitive about wearing masks and obeying the social distancing rule," Aras pointed out.

Aras also noted the town expects an increase in the traffic density until Thursday evening due to newcomers.

The mayor said the crisis center of the municipality has been taking all kinds of economic and social measures to prevent citizens from any distress.
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