Coronavirus Podcast #2 – Turkey and Greece

After radical measures to lockdown Italy in an attempt to contain the coronavirus, we look to see what is happening elsewhere in Europe. Listen to our latest podcast episode here or get it from your usual podcast provider.

“We are where we are with this, and that’s never a good place to be...”

We already know that the rate at which everything changes is remarkable.

When we recorded this podcast yesterday, Alp reporting from Istanbul explained that so far in Turkey there were only six reported covid-19 cases. This morning our daily news briefing includes this:

Turkey reports biggest jump in cases

Turkey has reported 12 new cases of Covid-19, taking the country’s total to 18. That’s the biggest jump since it reported its first case last week. The country’s health minister said two of the new cases were related to the first case reported in the country, seven had travelled from Europe and three from the United States.

Three countries, five locations

Across the border we spoke to Fotini in Sérres, Vicky in Thessaloniki and Amalia (with her brother and sister, Hercules and Angela) in Egio, near Patras.

We considered the social responsibility that young people have to safeguard the health of vulnerable family members. In Greece young people seem to appreciate that they do have a responsibility even although they may not be as much at risk. Although Vicky reported that on Saturday, despite advice to stay at home and respect social distancing, Thessaloniki’s beaches were still busy as the crowds enjoyed the sun and the sea.

Amalia explained that respecting the stay at home advice issued by the Greek government is not easy. There are six of them at home, including her 90-year old grandmother. They have a balcony to go out on, but otherwise they are stuck indoors.

She also explained the financial concerns that come with stay at home advice. Her father is unable to open the bar he runs. While it is closed there is no income, and the government in Greece have not yet announced financial assistance measures available to support the measurements in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

#JustIstanbulThings

With thanks to Alp, these two pictures are taken at the subway station in Maslak during rush hour in Istanbul. Maslak is the financial centre of Turkey, so it is normally super crowded.

The first picture was taken before the coronavirus outbreak. The second was taken this morning as Turkey wakes up to the news that the number of cases has started to spread: 1 - 2 - 6 - 18.

Istanbul’s Maslak subway station at rush hour before the covid-19 pandemic
The same subway station this morning (16 March 2020)

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