Turkish security forces use drones, helicopters to police virus lockdown

The police in some parts of Turkey are using drones and helicopters to impose social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.

In the eastern province of Van - neighbouring coronavirus-hit Iran - police helicopters and drones hover above parks and picnic spots. Loudspeakers repeatedly issue warnings, calling on people to stay indoors or to maintain social distancing, said the Daily Sabah on Wednesday.

In cities throughout Turkey the police have been asking those ignoring social distancing rules to disperse or go home, while the elderly out on the street in defiance of a curfew on those aged over 65 have often been given a ride home by officers.

The Turksh government has shut down schools and universities, closed recreational sites at weekends, and brought in tight restrictions on travel. Yet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not imposed a full nationwide lockdown, instead urging people to stay at home in a “voluntary quarantine.”

Turkey on Wednesday confirmed 63 new deaths of people who contracted the coronavirus, marking the second consecutive deadliest day in the battle against COVID-19.

With the new numbers, the total number of coronavirus deaths in Turkey have reached 277, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Another 2,148 people have tested positive for the deadly virus, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 15,679, he added.

Istanbul has roughly 8852 cases, making up for 60 percent of positive diagnoses in the country, followed by İzmir, Ankara and Kocaeli provinces, respectively, Koca said.