Coronavirus: Residents in Turkey’s Ankara finding it hard to get free protective mask

Residents in Turkey’s capital Ankara are finding it hard to get the free protective masks the Turkish government is distributing to citizens between the ages of 20 and 65 as a way to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

The Turkish government is requiring people to wear masks in public places and announced that the government would distribute masks to the public for free.

According to the distribution plan, all citizens can get five masks in 10 days from pharmacies after receiving a code through a text message. To get the code, people have to apply on the national e-commerce site; however, many residents said that they have met difficulties and delays getting a code.

“When we saw the news about the free mask distribution, we logged onto the designated website and Turkey’s e-government system and submitted the application as required. Three people in my family applied, but we have not gotten any verification codes yet,” said a resident.

The Turkish Health Ministry explained that the code would be issued in batches to avoid overcrowding pharmacies. It also warned that due to a surge of applications, citizens might not receive the code immediately.

Although the Turkish government has banned the sale of masks, some residents still wanted to try their luck, forcing local pharmacies to put up barriers.

“For the sake of our health, we have to do so to try to reduce close contact,” said an owner of a pharmacy.

Turkey has confirmed a total of 1,769 deaths from the novel coronavirus, while the number of infected people reached 78,546 as of Saturday, according to official figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) situation report.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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