According to a study, 88 per cent Turks said they use cologne to fight the virus. Twitter
An old tradition in Turkey involves offering visitors cologne water to refresh their hands.
However, in the times of coronavirus, this habit has been given a revisit by the country's citizens.
The practice has become an unexpected strategy in the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused widespread infections and fatalities around the globe.
Economical, these colognes act as an alternative to expensive and scarce hand sanitizers.
Turkey, which saw it first coronavirus case on March 10, is grappling with long queues at shops and chemists to buy cologne at a standard price of around €7(Dhs28) a litre.
Hand sanitizers, like in many other countries, are in scarce supply and have vanished from store shelves across Turkey.
According to a study by the Ipsos social research institute on how Turks cope with the pandemic, 88 per cent said they use cologne to fight the virus.
Turkish media and experts have recommended it to avoid spreading the virus in situations where it is difficult to wash your hands with soap.
The government has even announced it will distribute free cologne water and face masks to those over 65, the most vulnerable social group.
Engin Tuncer, president of Eyup Sabri Tuncer, a company that produces various types of cologne, told NTV radio that the lotion's sales have increased five-fold and daily shipments are necessary to replenish store stocks.
It is now common to find sold-out signs in supermarkets and pharmacies.
The most popular brands have also exhausted their online sales although they have issued statements to say stocks will be updated soon.
"We do not have masks, gloves, or cologne. These are the phrases that I have repeated the most in the last days," an Istanbul pharmacist told Efe news.
Given the rapid spread of the COVID-19, the Turkish government has suspended the use of ethanol in other sectors, such as gasoline production, to increase cologne production.
Turkey has so far reported 2,433 confirmed cases with 59 deaths.
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