Coronavirus panic in Van: Are authorities hiding information?

While four people are under observation in Van, suspected to have been infected with the corona virus, the fact that the authorities have not made a clear statement about the issue has increased anxiety.

The coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, which started in China in December and has already spread to dozens of countries, caused great uneasiness in Van, for the presence of the border crossing into Eastern Kurdistan.

Medical masks have witnessed a boom in sales in Van while at the border entrance and exit thermal machines have been located although the trade through Kapıköy border gate has been called to an end.

Because of the panic in Van, Van Governorate targeted journalists saying: "There are two or three people causing panic."

Four people have been treated at the hospital in Van so far; 3 of them are kept under observation in intensive care unit. They people who arrived in Van from Iran. It is stated that two of those in intensive care are brothers.

Medical union: Closing borders is not the solution

Providing information on the issue, Medical Union SES Van Branch President Sezer Ören said that the entrance to the regional hospital emergency department should be moved to another location.

Stating that there is a serious risk for patients suspected to have been infected to use the same entrance door as normal patients, Ören said that closing the border gate is not the solution.

Ören said: "There are constantly irregular illegal routes from Iran and the virus may come that way. There are 12 flights between Iran and Istanbul. The source of the disease is China. All our trade relations with China continue. Given all this, closing the border gate is not the solution. It is necessary to provide hygiene rules, identify risk groups, and then provide protective equipment to health teams."

Ören continued: "Recommendations in epidemics are all collective. It is necessary to protect public areas, and to work on children and people over 65. A correct information is required from the authorities. Authorities should give clear explanations, avoiding statements that cause speculation rather than comforting the society. There is an explosion in masks sale: these masks guarantee no protection. The balance sheet should be disclosed and a wide information should be provided. We have been warning about the need to be clear since the day the first infected person in Iran was confirmed. The press should be informed. The Provincial Directorate of Health and Ministry of Health should make a statement."