Izmir Governor Yavuz Selim Kosgar told reporters on Friday that COVID-19 cases in the western Turkish province of Izmir have tripled since the 6.9-magnitude earthquake on October 30, in addition to deaths due to the Coronavirus.
Kochgar said that with the earthquake that killed 116 people and injured 1033, “all citizens, including those infected with the Coronavirus and their acquaintances, took to the streets and mingled together.”
The governor said that the province was among the best Turkish provinces in dealing with the epidemic due to the high compliance with the rules before the disaster, adding that local and national authorities have taken additional measures to cope with the increase.
In addition to the national measures, Izmir will also enforce a curfew on the elderly, as announced in the provincial statement on Thursday.
The province said in a statement on Friday that the Ministry of Construction has completed infrastructure work for 550 temporary residences, and the shipping container residences are expected to be ready for use by the end of the week.
Also on Friday, the Izmir branch of the Turkish Architects and Engineers Association (TMMOB) held a press conference against the state of deforestation of about 3.75 square kilometers of land to build permanent housing for survivors.
The daily Evrensel quoted TMMOB Izmir as saying that the area is downstream, and the only thing that prevents accidental floods is the trees planted in the lands. The professional organization said: “Attempts to repair the wounds of one calamity will pave the way for another.”
Izmir Mayor Tung Sawyer said on Wednesday that the ministry had provided a solution for some people whose homes had collapsed or were severely damaged, but that the rest were left to bear the costs of the new housing on their own.
The mayor said the municipality is working on amending legislation that allows people to continue to live in medium to low-damage buildings if the buildings are fortified, but it has not provided them with any support for fortification.
Earlier in the week, opposition deputy Mustafa Adigüzel said that there were 164 deaths of COVID-19 in Istanbul, 38 in Ankara and 50 in Izmir on November 17, while the same day witnessed the Turkish authorities announcing 103 deaths nationwide.
Governor Kochgar said Friday that Adygüzel’s numbers are incorrect and that Izmir is doing well, even though it is no longer among the top ten provinces.
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