Covid-19: lockdown strains Turkey’s economy
Turkey’s President Erdogan has ordered a “full lockdown” for nearly three weeks, resulting in a shut down of many businesses, as Covid cases and deaths soar.
The lockdown is starting on Thursday and will last until May 17. It is Turkey’s strictest Covid-19 measures so far.
No stimulus package has been announced to ease the economic impact of the new lockdown.
Turkey is currently experiencing double digit inflation, sinking national currency and many businesses struggling, along with many people suffering financially.
It was announced by the president on Monday that the “full lockdown” will require people to stay home except for grocery shopping and other essential needs, while intercity travel will only be allowed with permission. Restaurants are allowed to deliver food.
Industries and businesses such as factories, agriculture, health care workers and law enforcement officers and others will be exempt. Tourists are also exempt from the curfew.
The government has been handing out tons of onions and potatoes this month. It is a clear example of rising food prices and poverty. The World Bank said Turkey’s poverty levels rose from 10.2 per cent in 2019 to 12.2 per cent in 2020.
The latest official statistics reported on Monday showed 37,312 new confirmed cases and 353 deaths. The country’s total Covid-19 death tolls stands at 38,711.