Istanbul metropolitan municipality preventative and mitigating actions against COVID-19 pandemic

Name of the local/regional government
Istanbul
Type of initiative
Response
Type of response
Governance
Initiative language
English

  • IMM established the Istanbul Aid and Coordination Center to manage the COVID-19 process in the City.
  • An online platform (https://birliktebasaracagiz.ibb.gov.tr - we will succeed together) was established to bring together the ones who would like to provide and receive support.
  • Informative content is being broadcasted on External Screens on Modyo TV (IMM City TV) and from official social media accounts of IMM.
  • Statistics related to the pandemic process in the city has been collected by IMM’s Statistics Office and shared with the public.
  • The Istanbul Volunteers, a civil society platform with thousands of members resident in 39 districts of İstanbul, works in cooperation with IMM, and creates awareness on pandemic with various projects throughout the city.
  • IMM provides free Wi-Fi for health professionals and their relatives in the hospitals.
  • Emergency Line 153 responds to all the needs of Istanbulites, particularly those over 65 years old.
  • Psychological Consulting Center has been established.
  • Multilingual Animation on self-protection measures in Turkish, English, Arabic, Farsi and Kurdish has been produced and distributed through social media and city screens.
  • IMM has taken numerous steps for clean, hygienic and safe service in city transportation and these standards have been maintained. By creating a mobile hygiene fleet, regular disinfection processes are carried out in places such as city squares, main arteries, places of worship, sites, parks, beaches, courthouse, public institutions, banks, etc.
  • All transportation vehicles, all bus/metro stations and stops are disinfected, hand disinfectants have been placed in the required places, masks are distributed to the passengers and thermal cameras are provided. Buses for transporting all healthcare professionals that require assistance are provided. All the municipal car parks in and around hospitals are offered free of charge for citizens and public transports are free of charge for healthcare professionals.
  • The funeral services for the deceased citizens due to both natural/usual causes and the pandemic, are carried out by taking all necessary measures and respecting religious obligations.
  • Huge meeting areas as well as sports halls have been designated as places for field hospitals. Ambulances and the healthcare professionals of IMM have been mobilized.
  • A center for Solidarity and Coordination has been established in order to manage all activities through different departments of IMM.
  • A Special Science Committee has been established in order to advice the policies of IMM.
  • From the first day, events that require collective participation such as concerts, theaters, etc.  and all municipality social courses were canceled. Museums belonging to IMM were temporarily closed, but online courses and visits have been offered quickly.
  • IMM reduced the capacity for IETT buses and metrobuses to below 50%.
  • Thermal imaging cameras were installed in metro and metrobus stations. Passengers detected to have high body temperatures are directed to the nearest healthcare institution.
  • Wearing facemasks was made mandatory for using public transport.
  • Free mask distribution on public transportation lines was offered.
  • Night transportation was stopped in order to decrease mobility and the last available hour for public transport was moved to an earlier time.
  • IMM shares online cultural events and home exercise contents with Istanbulites through social media channels.
  • An online network has been established for basic food and hygiene distribution support. This platform allows all residents including foreigners, migrants and refugees living in Istanbul to provide and get support,
  • A center is re-organized as to provide shelter service for women and close cooperation with women NGOs had been established in order to prioritize the women under emergency conditions. The first-step service Unit is ready and serving.
  • Free shopping cards and 500.000 food packages have been started to distribute to the most vulnerable ones in addition to increased social supports,
  • The Cash Support Card number raised nearly 35.000 families.
  • Psychological Support Center continues its activities online and psychosocial support had been established. In addition to the psychological support line, a “support line for individuals, children and families with special needs” was established.
  • Online Nurseries have been established for the children aged 5-6,
  • A social solidarity campaign entitled “Bill on the hook” has started. About 2 million 260 thousand USD has been raised through the “Askıda Fatura” (Bill on the Hook) campaign of the City of Istanbul to help more than 124,500 households which are incapable of paying their water and gas bills in the city, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By clicking http://askidafatura.ibb.gov.tr, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality matches people who cannot afford to pay their bills with those willing to cover the cost of these bills out of an act of solidarity in times of the pandemic.
  • Covid-19 measure videos prepared by IMM were provided for deaf and blind disabled citizens.
  • Multilingual Animation on self-protection measures in Turkish, English, Arabic, Farsi and Kurdish had been produced and distributed through social media and city screens,
  • IMM kitchen, which can serve three meals for 5,000 people, is ready for service per day.
  • 30 tons of animal food have been given to stray animals by municipal police and Directorate of Veterinarian Services.
  • Preventive measures have been tightened at Darülaceze (Almshouse).
  • One-to-one communication with the disabled people is established to analyze their needs and medical supplies like adult and diapers were distributed.
  • Online Projects have been established for students of IMM.
  • Educational cash support provided for students.
  • For our homeless citizens, new applications are met using the IMM Sports Hall as shelter support to prevent the disease from spreading.
  • All the transactions (subscription, starting and ending contract, paying bills, project approval etc.) of institutions such as İSKİ (Water and Sewage Management) and İGDAŞ (Natural Gas Distribution) have been gradually made available online for citizens, starting from subscribers over 65 years old. In addition, debt-based water cuts have been countermanded and water supply is provided to all subscribers.
  • IMM has taken steps in order to meet the needs (primarily basic needs such as water) of all health institutions that require assistance.
  • Halk Ekmek (Municipal Bread Company) and Hamidiye Water have worked at full capacity during lockdown. The required stocks of raw goods such as flour has been maximized. Necessary arrangements for social distancing in the shops and showrooms have been made.
  • Collection and disposal of medical waste is carried out regularly. The number of vehicles allocated for usage in this field has been increased.
  • As the mobility in the city decreases, priority has been given to accelerating important infrastructure projects.
  • The amount of social assistance in the IMM Budget has been increased by nearly hundred percent.
  • IMM decided not to take rent from the tenants of the IMM properties for 3 months and to extend their contracts for 3 months.
  • IMM assisted the farmers of Istanbul. Irrigable agricultural land size has been increased to 5200 declares with three new ponds. There are various aid programs for farmers such as free seedlings, fertilizers, pesticides and opportunity to get consulting from agricultural engineers in the planting and harvesting seasons.
  • In addition, milk supply shifted to Istanbul to support farmers. We intend to distribute the goods produced by local farmers to the families in need of the city.
  • The installment payments for council houses belonging to IMM subsidiary KİPTAŞ have been postponed for 3 months. Postponed installments will be paid in an extended period of 1 year.
  • IMM announced that Private Public Bus tradesmen would be supported
  • Health services have been supplemented with aid packages.
  • Mass transit is offered free of charge for health professionals (including pharmacists).
  • İSPARK (Municipal Car Parks) is offered free of charge for health professionals (including pharmacists).
  • 26 hotels and dormitories have been provided for the accommodation of healthcare professionals.
  • The Istanbul Volunteers working in cooperation with IMM establishes a solidarity platform among millions of Istanbulites, and carries out a scheme of supermarket vouchers to people experiencing economic difficulties due to pandemic.

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