Scene of Istanbul street packed with people irks health minister

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Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has taken to Twitter to warn the public to avoid large crowds, sharing a photo showing people strolling on Istanbul’s famous İstiklal Avenue with most of them not wearing face masks.

“Any person who joins this crowd will definitely get the disease. İstiklal Avenue had some scenes on Sunday [Oct. 18] which makes one less optimistic. If there had not been only a few people with face masks on, one could not possibly remember the existence of the pandemic,” Koca tweeted.

“Let’s avoid the crowds, unless it is necessary,” he wrote.

In an interview, Koca reiterated that the government is not considering imposing curfews.

“People need to pay special attention to wearing face masks in order to curb the rise in the number of infections. The more we are precautious the more we will be successful,” he said.

When asked if universities will reopen, the minister stressed that all institutions will eventually resume education, but this will be a gradual reopening depending on the course the pandemic is taking.

Students from different grades in elementary, middle and high schools have already started to take face-to-face classes.

“Decisions and recommendations will be made by assessing the course of the outbreak in those classes and the infection rates among those who are taking face-to-face education in the weeks ahead,” Koca added.

Hurriyet Daily News

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