03/24/2020, 14.13
TURKEY
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Coronavirus: police arrests Turkish doctor who talked about 'thousands' of infections

In a video that went viral in a few hours, Dr Güle Çınar talks about thousands of infections. The authorities eventually forced her to issue an apology. Police raid mask factories to force owners to sell them to the Health Ministry. Turkey’s confirmed cases stand at 1,529 with 37 deaths.

 

Ankara (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Turkish police arrested a doctor for causing alarm and spreading false information about the novel coronavirus epidemic.

In a video released last week, which went viral in a few hours, Dr Güle Çınar claims that the number of COVID-19 cases runs in the thousands, far more than the figure reported by the government

This immediately sparked anxiety and concern among Turks and prompted the authorities, who have a tight control over information media, to arrest the doctor.

The police forced her to write an official apology, posted on the official website of the University of Ankara, and later published by government media.

“I offer everyone my apologies for the anxiety caused by my speech. […] My intention was to highlight the seriousness of the situation,” Çınar writes.

In light of the situation, Turkey's government is also threatening medical mask manufacturers with seizure if they don't stop hoarding their product and instead start selling them to the Health Ministry.

With the country grappling with a rising number in COVID-19 cases, security forces raided factories nationwide over the weekend and handed a warning to business owners over the lack of products in the market.

Turkish authorities also imposed restrictions on grocery store opening hours and numbers of shop customers and bus passengers.

Meanwhile, the country’s death toll from the coronavirus rose to 37. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the number of confirmed cases rose by 293 on Monday to 1,529.

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