Full lockdown would be costly for Turkish economy, presidential aide says: report

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Turkish Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın (Okan Ozer / Anadolu Agency)

A full lockdown against the spread of the novel coronavirus would be costly for Turkey, for both the economy and the mental health of the people, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said.

“The cost of this on the economy would be much heavier. The cost on social life and human psychology would be very, very different,” Kalın told private broadcaster NTV late Thursday when asked about the burden of a long-term quarantine decision across the country, according to the Hürriyet Daily News.

“Sometimes people are well intentioned, but unfortunately they can make such recommendations without scientific data. These aren’t decisions that would be taken arbitrarily. That’s why there is a science board [assisting the health ministry” he said.

Turkey is in an advantageous position as it is among the countries that took measures and responded to the crisis early, Kalın said. “When you look at the whole process, we can say that we have managed the process well so far because our citizens adopted these measures. This success is the success of all of us, not just of the person or institution.”

Turkey had nearly 75,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, and a death toll of 1,643 as of Thursday.

“Many economists estimate that COVID-19 will cost the world $3-$4 trillion. So 2020 will be a year of complete contraction. We have to take this into consideration, but risking human lives due to this in any way is out of the question,” Kalın stated.

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