Coronavirus panic in Van as people desert shopping centres

Coronavirus panic is spreading in Van and surrounding provinces. Shopping malls located near hospitals began to appear empty as people stay indoor for fear of the virus.

After the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in China, the virus has spread to dozens of countries. One of these countries is Iran. The coronavirus was detected in Qom and caused the death of 16 people in the country.

The increasing number of deaths in Iran caused great uneasiness in Van located on the border with Eastern Kurdistan.

Shopping malls in Van appear deserted as people avoid public places and places near hospitals. Citizens who had appointments in hospitals cancel them in fear.

Although the border gates are closed, Iranian citizens continue to arrive into Van. Iranians, who travel to Istanbul and other cities by air, eventually travel to Van. Citizens started wearing masks in the city and complain that the state has not taken adequate measures.

Five people discharged as they tested negative

Five people who were quarantined and treated for a suspicious infection in the city's hospitals tested negative for coronavirus and were discharged.

Coronavirus is 10 times more dangerous than flu

Medical Union SES Van Branch President Sezer Örenç said that it was normal to see panic spreading among people in Van after the cases of coronavirus in Iran. He added that the rate of transmission (incidence rate) is higher and the rate of mortality is around 2-2.5 percent higher compared to normal flu. Örenç emphasized that the coronavirus is 10 times more deadly compared to normal flu.

Örenç also remarked that because of its position at the border with Iran and because of being a tourist attraction, Van is at risk, but added that the risk of infection can be reduced following some important rules such as eating healthy, complying with the hygiene rules, getting basic health services from family physicians, rather than hospitals.

Ören underlined that closing the border gates with Iran does not appear to be affecting the spreading of the infection.

He added that it is important that people over the age of 65, children, and patients with chronic diseases are followed carefully. "As the weather starts to change, the cautious approach will also help to end the life of the disease."

Coronavirus suspect in Bitlis

Panic also spread,in the Tatvan district of Bitlis, when a person was put under quarantine at Tatvan State Hospital for suspected coronavirus infection. After learning the news, citizens cancelled their appointments at the hospital.