Turkey's Istanbul adopts drastic measures to curb COVID-19 pandemic

File Photo: Agencies.

ISTANBUL, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's biggest city Istanbul adopted on Wednesday a series of drastic measures to restrain the fast increasing COVID-19 cases.

"As of today, to reduce the effects of the outbreak, we are expanding the range of rotational and remote working methods in all public institutions and organizations," Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said at a televised speech.

"Accordingly, pregnant employees, those with chronic illnesses, mothers with children under the age of 10, and workers over 60 years old will work from home," Yerlikaya said. "All other personnel will work alternately on a weekly basis."

Istanbul had adopted alternate working hours for public employees over the rising number of daily cases in September, aiming at reducing the crowd on public transport during rush hours.

Istanbul has 5.3 million employees in all sectors, and over 93 percent of them are working in the private sector, according to the governor.

Therefore, he said the private sector also needs to switch to similar alternate and flexible working hours to combat the pandemic effectively in the city.

Istanbul sees 40 percent of all the COVID-19 cases in the country, according to the health ministry.

On Tuesday, the total number of COVID-19 patients in Turkey climbed by 2,343 to 382,118, while the death toll rose to 10,481 after 79 new fatalities were added.