20-03-2020 14:00:40

“Measure to limit time people spend outdoors comes in wake of coronavirus outbreak”

Social Services and Family Minister Zehra Zumrut Selcuk spoke at Anadolu Agency's Editor's Desk in the capital Ankara.

Turkey will support flexible and shorter work hours for employees in order to limit the time they spend outdoors as part of measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the country's labor, social services and family minister said Friday. 

Zehra Zumrut Selcuk said "We will provide flexibility in certain conditions to make it more beneficial to all sectors," 

She added that the basic state pension will also be increased from 1,000 Turkish liras ($154) to 1,500 Turkish liras ($231) in line with the relief package announced on Wednesday. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday unveiled a relief package worth 100 billion Turkish liras ($15.4 billion) to limit the economic fallout from the coronavirus. 

The package includes debt payment delays and tax cuts across various sectors. 

"Based on the results of an income questionnaire conducted by the Social Assistance Solidarity Foundations, we will distribute 2 billion liras [$308 million] to assist the lowest-income segment," Selcuk said. 

"We increased the periodical shares of 1,003 social solidarity foundations in Turkey, so we will have further increased supports to the elders," she added. 

Retirement homes 

Selcuk said fever measurements and health scans of elderly people are carried out on a daily basis in all the retirement homes in Turkey. 

She added that the number of healthcare professionals and doctors working at the retirement homes will also be increased. 

Turkey has so far confirmed four deaths from coronavirus and confirmed 359 cases. 

The global death toll has exceeded 10,000 as scientists try to develop a vaccine for the virus known as COVID-19, according to figures compiled by John Hopkins University.