People in Turkey are turning to cologne to fight coronavirus - GulfToday

People in Turkey are turning to cologne to fight coronavirus


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.

turkey2 Staff members disinfect the historical Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. TNS.

"I always carry a bottle of cologne in my car," an emergency health worker at Ankara's May 19 Hospital, told Efe news on the phone.

"Alcohol is a good sanitizer for hands, the most dangerous part of the body because it can spread the virus," says the doctor.

What is now medical advice was already widely practiced in the Eurasian country.

Cologne is traditionally offered as a sign of hospitality in homes, restaurants and cafes, and is sold in supermarkets and grocery stores.

The services sector, especially F&B, has renewed its use in recent years by offering scented wet wipes.

Every meal in an Istanbul restaurant ends, without exception, with the waiter offering one of these cloths to customers.

The towels are usually immersed in a perfumed solution that usually contains a concentration of 80 per cent alcohol.

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.


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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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