Coronavirus: Istanbul residents clap and cheer Turkey's healthcare workers

Turkish president urges public to stay at home as known infections rise to 947

Peter Stubley
Sunday 22 March 2020 15:03
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Istanbul residents clap and cheer healthcare workers fighting coronavirus pandemic

The clapping, cheering, whistling, and pot-clanging starts up in Istanbul every day at 9pm.

It is now a nightly ritual for residents in Turkey‘s largest city as they show support for the nation’s healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The celebration is an effort to lift not only their own spirits while staying indoors but also the spirits of those battling to save lives.

Even boats crossing the Bosphorus add their voices by blowing their horns.

It mirrors similar scenes from across Europe last week after governments began imposing widespread lockdowns to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The Turkish government has stopped flights from Europe, banned prayer gatherings in mosques, closed libraries and restaurants and imposed a total curfew for the chronically ill and those aged over 65.

As the death toll in Turkey more than doubled to 21 on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the public to stay at home.

“Be of good cheer,” he said in a video message. “I hope we will get through this difficult process together, as long as we abide by the rules and directions.”

The number of confirmed cases in Turkey increased by 41 per cent to 947.

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