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Turkey’s only COVID-free village grabs national spotlight in fight against virus

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A small village in Turkey’s northwestern province of Bartın has attracted tremendous public interest as it has reported no coronavirus infections so far despite the fact that Turkey ranks among the hardest-hit countries in Europe.

The village of Aliobası, located in the Amasra district, has a population of 600 and 120 houses.  The village headman, or muhtar, Ramazan Tığ, told Turkish media outlets that he’s having a hard time answering the huge number of calls from across the country. Tığ said people are calling him and telling him they’re considering buying a house or a piece of land in the village and ask for his assistance.

Tığ said some people are also asking him how the villagers have managed to protect themselves from infection.

“They’re asking me how we managed this. I tell them we managed [to remain coronavirus-free] by wearing masks, social distancing and observing good hygiene. We don’t allow outsiders into our village, and our residents don’t leave the village unless they absolutely have to. The villagers are very careful,” said the muhtar.

He also said he frequently makes morning visits to the houses in the village, providing people with masks and reminding them to observe the country’s anti-coronavirus measures.

Tığ also explained that their village has exceptionally clean air and that the villagers mainly eat what they’ve produced organically on their own land, adding that there is also a huge interest in the products grown in the village.

The Turkish health minister on Wednesday reported 31,712 new infections and 217 COVID-19 deaths over the past 24 hours.

Turkey reported its first coronavirus case on March 11. The total number of the coronavirus cases in the country has exceeded 1.5 million while the total death toll stands at 15,531.

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