90 pct of Turks see COVID-19 as serious threat, 40 pct staying confined to homes - survey

Almost 90 percent support Turkey’s the nationwide weekend lockdowns while 40 percent either don’t leave or accept guests into their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey by Optimar Research found.

 A total of 87.4 percent believe COVID-19 poses a serious health threat while 10 percent don’t see the novel virus as a serious risk, Diken news site reported, citing the survey conducted between April 20- May 8 with over 2,000 people across 26 provinces.

Turkey has the ninth highest COVID-19 contagion in the world with 143,114. The virus has claimed the lives of 3,952 people since the first diagnosis in the country on March 11. Later in March, Turkish authorities imposed a series of measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, including the shutting down of schools and non-essential businesses. A 31 province wide weekend lockdown has been in effect for weeks.

While 66.2 percent of those surveyed said they were concerned about the trajectory of the disease in the country, 29.9 percent said they had no such concern. 

The country has seen a drop in fatalities and cases in recent weeks, now at a steady rate of around 50 a day from over 100; the number of those in intensive care has also decreased.

However, several experts have warned against a second wave of contagion after Turkey eased anti-virus measures, saying that the decision was taken prematurely.

Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said they were taking precautions against the pandemic. Not leaving one’s home unless necessary registered at the top of cautionary measures at 70 percent, followed by frequent use of alcohol based cologne at 55 percent and refusing to accept guests into home at 40 percent.

Almost 67 percent of those surveyed said weekend lockdowns should continue and 27.4 percent said the curfew should be extended to include weekdays.

Turkey’s next 31-province lockdown will begin on Saturday and last through to end of Tuesday.