While Turkey is experiencing a unique hardship over the coronavirus pandemic, African students who came to Turkey for studying at Turkish universities found themselves sharing lockdown in daily life with Turkish people amid virus preventive measures.
The novel coronavirus, which emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019, with the first case confirmed in Turkey on March 11, has led to preventive measures worldwide in efforts to prevent the spread of the disease, including lockdowns, the shutdown of educational institutions, banning of public gatherings and halting of international flights.
With classes suspended in Turkey since March 12, Coulibaly Al Hussein,19, from Ivory Coast, who is studying at Giresun University in Turkey, says he spends most of his time at home but follows the rules set by the authorities whenever he ventures out.
“I respect the distance of one meter with other people and always go out with protection — a mask and gloves,” he told Anadolu Agency.
“Our embassy advised us to follow the rules in the country where we are and to respect the rules of hygiene despite the confinement,” he added, ruling out any plans by himself or his embassy for repatriation as he has not contacted his embassy since the pandemic was confirmed in Turkey.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, I haven’t contacted the embassy of my county and it hasn’t contacted me also,” he said.
“I think the measures taken by the Turkish government are really good and they have allowed a large number of people to be protected and have also contributed to a less aggressive spread of the virus in Turkey, contrary to what we observe in other countries.”
Moustapha Aliou, 23, a Cameroonian who studies Industrial Engineering at Istanbul Sehir University, says he spends his days during the lockdown reading books and taking online courses.
“I am not going out and maintain my hygiene well,” he said, regarding precautions he takes against the virus.
Another Cameroonian, Gassim Ibrahim, 30, who studies history at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University in Istanbul, decided to use his time during the lockdown engaging in research and writing.
“I’m spending my days at home. I keep doing research by reading and writing. I am using my electronic resources and some books that I had already bought. I usually watch the news and films at the night,” he said.
“I don’t do anything extra than respecting the measures planned by the government — staying home, going out only for emergency situations and never forgetting to wear a mask and always keeping a distance between myself and others.”
Gassim said the current measures in Turkey against COVD-19 are “enough if they are properly applied.”
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