Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayor of Turkey’s largest city of İstanbul, has called for an 11-day curfew to stem the spread of COVID-19, starting from Thursday April 23, a national holiday in Turkey, and ending on Sunday May 3, the Diken news website reported on Monday.
The mayor did not specify exactly which parts of the country would be put under curfew if enacted.
İmamoğlu said during a TV interview that his proposal would only cost five workdays while allowing 11 days of efficient quarantine.
“With curfews you are able to create quarantine areas where needed. As a matter of fact, you can increase your testing capabilities during the curfew,” İmamoğlu said. “I and 11 other mayors continue to insist on that.”
İmamoğlu added that the central government has not provided any explanation as to why it is refraining from taking such steps.
The Turkish government’s pandemic response has been described by observers as being economy-driven as its large-scale curfews have been limited to weekends and applied in metropolitan areas only.
More permanent restrictions were imposed on the nonworking segments of society, specifically youngsters below the age of 20 with the exception of those who are employed, and the elderly.
On Sunday Turkey’s officially confirmed death toll caused by the novel coronavirus had exceeded 2,000 people. The health ministry has also reported more than 85,000 confirmed cases.