Turks don’t want to go back to school – pollster

Some 64 percent of Turks are not in favour of schools opening again for in-person education on August 31 as the coronavirus pandemic still troubles the country, a survey by leading pollster Metropoll found.

Only 26.5 percent of participants said they believed opening the schools was safe.

Turkey shut down schools in mid-March as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed 5,813 lives in the country as of Friday evening.

Most Turkish provinces remained under strict lockdowns to help flatten the curve of infections for several months, but daily case figures have climbed to more than 1,000 per day fairly quickly following the ease of restrictions on June 1.

Currently there are 11,063 active cases of COVID-19, according to Health Ministry figures.

Medical organisations in several provinces including central Anatolian Konya warn that hospitals are nearing their capacity, but Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has denied allegations with a tweet in English, a rare occurrence.

Meanwhile, Turkey may have to go back into lockdown, a professor of public health said earlier in the week. There are significant spikes in several provinces, including those with large rural populations.