ANKARA

Two prominent opposition lawmakers on Wednesday expressed divergent views on the issue of continued restrictions on elderly people in Turkey.

While Sefer Aycan, member of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) demanded continuation of stay at home orders for people aged above 65 years and under 18 years, Mustafa Adiguzel representing Republican People’s Party (CHP) asked for the lifting of restrictions on elderly.

“There is a serious violation of [COVID-19] rules. [The public] behaves like that the [COVID-19] danger has passed and everything is over. Risk exists, and the virus is still strolling among us,” Aycan, a lawmaker from southern Kahramanmaras province, told reporters in the premises of parliament.

He called for strictly obeying the rules to stem the spread of the pandemic outbreak.

“The restrictions for those over 65 years old and under 18 years should continue,” he said.

“It has also been early to increase the capacity of public service vehicles from 50% to 100%,” he added.

However, another prominent opposition lawmaker asked the government to lift the stay-home order for those over 65 years old.

“Our citizens over 65 years old have not gone out of their home over the past 70 days. This situation has led to an increase in chronic disease,” said Adiguzel, a lawmaker from northern Ordu province.

He said that staying at home without any movement has also caused some psychological problems for the elder people.

“For this reason, the stay at home order for our citizens over 65 years old should end,” he added.

Turkey’s normalization process started from Monday as the government decided to ease restrictions enforced to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Turkey introduced stay at home orders for those above the age of 65 on March 21, while those under 20 years old were restricted to come out, since April 3 to combat the spread of the virus.

According to the US-based Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resources Center, Turkey has so far reported 165,555 COVID-19 cases with 4,585 deaths. As many as 129,921 people have also recovered.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 188 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed over 380,700 people worldwide, with more than 6.40 million infections, while recoveries have exceeded 2.7 million.

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