They ban the sale of masks and distribute them at no cost

Turkey has banned selling face masks in the country and will provide them for free to citizens, the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced today, saying again that the West has not acted well in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is prohibited to sell masks for money. We have a reserve of masks that will be fully sufficient for our citizens until the end of the pandemic. The State will send free masks," said Erdogan in a speech.

The government had previously banned the export of face masks or other medical equipment produced in Turkey.

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Since Saturday, it is mandatory to wear a mask in any space where there are crowds of people, although on the first day the monitoring of this rule was quite irregular. Masks have also begun to be distributed free of charge on buses in Istanbul.


Every adult citizen can request a package with five masks each week, which will be sent home, reports CNNTürk. Those over 65 and those under 20, who have been banned from going outside, can also request the authorities to send basic necessities.

Erdogan announced that in 45 days two field hospitals, with a thousand beds each, will be in service at the old Atatürk airport and at a military airfield on the Asian side of Istanbul.

With 75 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, the total number of victims of COVID-19 in Turkey is 649, while there are 1,425 patients in intensive care, out of a total of 30,000 cases, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

What the WHO says about the use of masks

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) on its website, if a person is healthy, they should only wear a mask when caring for someone who is suspected of being infected. Another case in which it should be used is when you have a cough or sneeze.

Furthermore, the WHO clarifies that masks are not enough on their own: they are only effective when combined with frequent hand washing. It also highlights that, if it should be used, it is important to know how to use it and dispose of it correctly, since it is not as simple as putting it on and disposing of it in the trash.

First of all, before putting it on, you need to wash your hands. Next, the mouth and nose should be covered with the mask, producing no gaps between the face and the mask. Once in place, it is important to avoid touching it. If you do, you should wash your hands well.

The mask should be changed when you feel wet. If it is for single use, it should never be reused. It is removed from behind, that is, without touching the front, and is discarded in a closed container. When finished, wash your hands well with soap and water or with an alcohol-based disinfectant.

What do you think of this measure that Turkey has taken?