The reopening of countries amid the coronavirus pandemic should take place in a synchronized fashion, Turkey's presidential spokesman said Tuesday, calling for "global thinking" in opening up economies worldwide.
Speaking during a webinar held by the Turkish American National Steering Committee, İbrahim Kalın said governments should "seriously" consider the parameters and conditions of reopening.
His remarks came as some European countries and the United States have begun opening up their economies with social-distancing practices in place. But health experts have cautioned that the move may trigger a second wave of the disease.
"We cannot keep closed forever, and the system has to function one way or another, and this has to be done with serious concern over public health, with consideration to make sure that the pandemic does not come back."
"After the coronavirus, the new normal will be different from what was the normal before," said Kalın.
Reopening requires "global thinking, consultation and cooperation," and there must be a "synchronizing" among countries while opening up, he said.
"If the United States opens up and others do not, or vice or versa, you have a disequilibrium in the system because everything is interconnected."
Kalın said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in ongoing talks with world leaders to discuss how they reopen, what their measures are and what has been the practice during this process.
"It's been a very robust learning process for everyone. We are learning new things. It will be a dynamic process as we open up," he said.
"The balance between reopening and keeping human life safe will be a common trait of not only a few months ahead of us but over the years, perhaps decades to come," he added.
Since first appearing in China last December, the coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.
The U.S., Russia, Brazil and several European countries are currently the hardest hit in the world.
The pandemic has forced countries to enforce harsh restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 5.5 million people worldwide with over 348,000 deaths.
Millions of people have lost their jobs as local and regional businesses have shut down over coronavirus fears.
Turkey's Communications Directorate also said on Tuesday that Erdoğan has continued his diplomatic contacts amid the pandemic and spoken separately with Algeria's Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Indonesia's Joko Widodo.
The leaders exchanged greetings for Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of fasting.
Erdoğan and Tebboune discussed the fight against the virus and bilateral relations as well as regional issues.
Erdoğan and Widodo discussed the fight against COVID-19 and steps to strengthen ties between the two countries.