Praising Turkey's fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic as more effective than the measures being meted out in European countries, local expatriates told Anadolu Agency that further measures could be put in place.
Mark Richardson, the general manager of Istanbul-based Ventus Travel and Events, welcomed the recent start of weekend curfews across much of the country.
After a much-lauded 48-hour curfew last weekend was imposed across 31 provinces, representing over 75% of Turkey's population, this weekend will see another curfew to help stem the virus' spread.
Crediting the strength of the Turkish health care system and measures taken at the onset of the crisis, Richardson said: "I believe they are better than other European countries. This position plays a huge part in easing our worry."
He also underlined that although the social distancing guidelines seem to be working, the country should take further steps to ensure that many people follow them.
The pandemic has completely changed people's lives, said Richardson, especially as a person running a tourism-sector business.
"Our bookings dropped overnight to zero, as expected in this type of pandemic," he said.
Now that schools are closed, Richardson spends most of his time with his 3-year-old son, he said.
"The only time I leave the house is to take my dog for a walk in the morning and at night," he added.
Noting that he now carries out his shopping exclusively online, Richardson said once his orders are delivered, he washes everything that comes into the house with bleach and strips away as much of the packaging as possible.
"I'm very concerned, as my son has asthma, and we're taking all steps possible to minimize contamination," he underlined.
Free treatment a plus
Hailing the free COVID-19 treatment offered by Turkish hospitals, Tim Bright, a partner in Istanbul-based OneWorld Consulting, nevertheless said the number of people still on the streets of Turkey's commercial capital was a cause for concern.
However, he said, "It's good that all the hospitals are working for the pandemic and that patients' costs are covered by the government."
Bright praised how the delivery services – a cornerstone of pandemic survival for many – are working "very well" in Turkey. "People in the U.K. are amazed that we can get deliveries in 20 minutes," he said.
"We're very fortunate, and our lives haven't been affected too badly by the virus yet," he said.
He said he is enjoying the many theater and music programs that are now available online due to the virus.
But unlike for some, Bright stressed that remote workdays are very busy for him and his team, as they hustle to deliver executive searching, coaching and outplacement projects online.
"Some work tasks take longer than they did before, so like a lot of people I'm working quite long hours, in lots of video conferences and calls with our clients and colleagues," he explained.
Enforcing the rules
Chris Gaunt, chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT), said he had been spending time self-isolating at his Istanbul home in line with WHO rules, and practices social distancing when he ventures outside.
"We exercise in our garden, catch up on jobs, participate in webinars and virtual meetings," Gaunt noted.
Saying that he shares the experience with family and friends using videoconferencing applications, Gaunt stressed that they had steered clear of misleading projections and comments on the virus from unqualified or unproven sources.
"We only listen to WHO experts and other evidence-based specialists from accredited sources," he said.
Touching on Turkey's containment measures, Gaunt said, "There needs to be more action taken to prevent the contagion spreading and ensure people take the WHO recommendations to stay at home seriously."
Late Thursday, Turkey reported 125 more deaths from coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 1,643. The country also has 74,193 confirmed cases.
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