Turkey’s Vestel restarts production after suspension for coronavirus

Vestel, one of Turkey’s biggest producers and exporters of home appliances, restarted manufacturing after halting production lines for a week.

The company will produce its goods at a lower volume with fewer staff, it said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange on Monday.

Vestel was among Turkey’s largest manufacturers to announce a halt to operations last month as the outbreak of the coronavirus hit demand at home and abroad. The companies also included major carmakers. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last week that the wheels of the economy must keep turning as his government sought to stem the outbreak.

Vestel said it would employ social distancing measures at its production facilities and disinfect factory floors. The company is based in Istanbul, where more than half of Turkish COVID-19 infections have occurred.

A total of 3,135 people tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, increasing the number of cases to 27,069. Turkey now ranks 9th globally for infections after it overtook Switzerland in recent days.

The company said it may apply to the government for financial aid to introduce short working hours, if deemed necessary.