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Wednesday, 02 September 2020 00:00

KTLN Coronavirus update 2nd September 2020

Kalkan and Coronavirus Kalkan and Coronavirus

Here is an update on the impact of Coronavirus in Turkey and more specifically in the Kalkan/Kaş area.

This report includes data from official government sources including the Turkish Ministry of Health.

National data
The following charts show the daily new cases of Coronavirus (i.e. tested positive in a PCR test) and also the daily death rate up to 1st September 2020.

Coronavirus cases

Coronavirus deaths

Source: Worldometers

As at 1st September there are 271,705 people recorded as having tested positive to Coronavirus in Turkey and 6,417 deaths are attributed to the virus.   That is an increase of 42,058 and 748 in a month respectively.

With new cases now exceeding 1,500 a day in Turkey the authorities are constantly reminding people to follow the coronavirus safety measures. 

Comparing countries, new cases in the UK are a smilar number - if anything just slightly lower.  Spain was seeing around 2,500 new cases a day but yesterday they hit a peak of over 8,100.  France now has over 5,000 new cases a day.

Here in Turkey more effort is being put in to monitoring and enforcement in an attempt to aviod the reintroduction of more strict Coronavirus rules.  The Ministry of Health has signalled very clearly that unless people follow the existing rules there is a real possibility that firmer action will be taken.

Regional data
Looking at a regional level the government does not publish statistics for Antalya province.  

For reporting purposes we come under the “Mediterranean” region, which comprises eight provinces.  They are Antalya; Burdur; Isparta; Mersin; Adana; Hatay; Osmaniye and Kahramanmaraş.

The following chart gives the number of new cases officially recorded in the Mediterranean region for the three months from 1st June to 1st September.

Mediterranean cases
Source: Turkish Ministry of Health

At the "Mediterranean" regional level the number of new cases is rising significantly.

At the beginning of June new cases were running at around 40 a day.  The most recent figures are averaging above 100 new cases a day.  There was a surge in numbers in early August shortly after Kurban Bayram when many people were travelling and going on holiday.  Significant numbers of domestic tourists came to Kalkan and Kaş over that period.  This increased level of new cases has been sustained and has increased slightly.

Local data
With domestic and international tourists arriving in Kalkan and Kaş in significant numbers it was inevitable that the virus would eventually register on the Turkish government's Hayat Evi Sığar (HES) Coronavirus monitoring app.

In previous reports we alluded to the fact that the virus was in our area and the fact that it is finally being officially recognised should not come as a surprise. 

Nor should appearance on the HES app change behaviours in any significant way.  Everyone should have been following the Covid-19 safety rules and that remains the case.

The HES maps below show some of the 'official' risk areas in and around Kalkan.  The square boxes represent locations where a positive test has been recorded.  All of the ones close to Kalkan are classified as low risk.

Reliable sources have indicated to KTLN that in the Kaş district as a whole, (population approximately 60,000) there have been scores of positive test cases, but fewer than one hundred in total. 

This represents about 0.1% of the official population.  However this particular statistic is not especially helpful because it does not reflect the actual number of people currently in Kaş district, which is boosted by thousands of tourists coming to Kalkan and Kaş from Turkey's big cities and also from abroad. 

Based upon discussions we have had locally the evidence strongly indicates (unsurprisingly) that tourists are a significant vector in bringing the Coronavirus to this area.

HES map

Some people have been asking where exactly is the epicentre of these HES hot spots.  It is unrealistic to expect the HES app to provide a specific address.  It doesn't.  Nor should it.  We have moved on from Medieval times when a cross was painted on to a house where people had the Plague. 

HES map

HES map

Below: A wider view of the area on the HES app.  Just to be clear there are no official cases in Gelemiş/Patara; the box on the map below relates to nearby Ova and Kınık.

HES map

Below: Nearby Fethiye.

HES map

As we mentioned in our previous reports, the way in which data is captured and reported on this particular app will not necessarily include all those who have the virus, such as those with asymptomatic Coronavirus  These people won't necessarily know they have the virus but are capable of spreading it.

Coronavirus safety in Kalkan
Attitudes towards Coronavirus safety rules in Kalkan are no different to other places across the world including the UK. 

Some people try and others don't.  That applies equally to residents and visitors.  In shops and restaurants the picture remains mixed. 

Kalkan

Some shops continue to take Coronavirus safety seriously - especially the larger shops including supermarkets.  Masks/visors are being worn by staff and Coronavirus signs are in place.  If you walk in to some shops without a mask you may be asked to put one on or leave.  We did notice in some shops staff wearing masks under their chin or under their nose - both ineffective.

We have seen some restaurants observing the rules, whilst others appear to be disinterested.  We have observed some restaurants where staff were wearing masks virtually all the time and other places where staff were 'wearing them' but not covering their mouth and nose. 

We don't underestimate how hard it is to keep a social distance and to wear masks, especially in such hot weather but the rules are there for a reason.  Remember you have a choice where you shop and where you eat.  If you're not happy with their attitude towards your health and safety you can try somewhere else.

Businesses who apply the rules and who ask customers to abide by them too can sometimes find themselves with a dilemma.  We have heard first hand reports of tourists telling shop owners they won't wear a mask.  Rather than argue with a customer and potentially lose money they allow the customer to stay in the shop without a mask.

We suggest that constructive feedback be provided where businesses are failing in their responsibility to keep you safe.  Equally we think it important to show appreciation for staff who are following the guidelines.

Kalkan

In an upcoming report we will be commenting further on how Coronavirus has impacted on tourism in Kalkan this year.

Covid-19 safety rules
Read our earlier article to remind yourself what the rules are.  We continue to update this guide as the rules change.

KTLN Guide: Covid-19 rules for people in Kalkan - what you need to know

UK FCO Advice for British citizens in Turkey
In addition to all of the web links shown above we advise keeping up to date with these fast moving events by regularly checking the UK FCO web site:  UK FCO - Advice for British Citizens in Turkey
 

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#StaySafe

Katie-Ellen

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