Over 77,000 Turkish citizens who went into precautionary coronavirus isolation after being evacuated from abroad have finished their quarantines in student dormitories, said a top Turkish official on Wednesday.
The citizens had been evacuated by Turkey from 97 countries, Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu, the youth and sports minister, told a press conference at the ministry in the capital Ankara.
As Turkey has started normalization from the coronavirus outbreak, with virus numbers on the wane, Kasapoglu said that the quarantines in dormitories have come to a successful close.
“We have started to prepare our dormitories for nearly 700,000 young people,” he added.
Kasapoglu said that only 13% of dorms across Turkey were used during the process, which corresponds to 177 dorms in 76 provinces.
He added that 6,305 health personnel were also hosted in 113 dormitories in 56 provinces as they did not prefer going home not to risk their families’ health.
At the instruction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish expatriates brought back from all corners of the world were hosted in quarantine dormitories for two weeks due to the outbreak.
Kasapoglu said that as Turkey is one of the most successful countries with its health infrastructure and treatments, it has also become a model country in terms of the most qualified quarantine implementations and student dorms infrastructure.
“As the virus originated abroad, especially the 14-day quarantine imposed after the entrance to the country had a vital importance,” Kasapoglu said, adding that Turkey’s dormitory infrastructure contributed to the effective management of the process.
He said people who stayed in dormitories were shown great care. Food, water, tea, juice, and medicines were served to their rooms daily.
The rooms were regularly disinfected, while personal care items were also provided, he said.
The people under quarantine were also given sports materials and books to enjoy their time and ease the negative impacts of the process.
A sapling planting activity was also initiated for them and nearly 45,000 saplings have been planted to date.
* With contributions and writing by Sena Guler