Turkey’s earthquake-hit Izmir boosts COVID-19 restrictions

Turkey’s western province of Izmir has been struggling against the spread of COVID-19, which witnessed a hike after a strong earthquake hit the region at the end of October.

Izmir Provincial Sanitation Board announced on Tuesday a series of additional measures aiming at “ensuring social isolation, protecting physical distance, and keeping the spread of the outbreak under control.”

Under the new restrains, citizens were banned from having a picnic and sitting in parks, picnic areas, and along the coastal strip, the board said.

It also urged relevant businesses to remove tables and chairs in the common areas of shopping malls to prevent people from “forming crowds and creating images that are not compatible with the fight against the pandemic.”

The activities of flea markets across the province were also suspended until further notice, the statement read.

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit the Aegean Sea off Izmir on Oct. 30, killing more than 110 people and wounding over 1,000 others.

Izmir Governor Selim Kosger has recently said that after the quake the number of coronavirus-related deaths and daily cases tripled across the province.

Last week, Turkey had reimposed nationwide partial lockdowns on weekends, closed restaurants and cafes, and introduced new working hours for the businesses to restrain the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.