Village head in Turkey suspended after hiding potential COVID-19 cases

A muhtar (village head) in the eastern province of Van has been suspended from post after authorities figured out that he hid the identities of people who might have contracted the deadly coronavirus.
In early April, the Örmetaş neighborhood of Van’s Başkale district has been put under quarantine after a man, who had recently travelled from Istanbul to the province, tested positive for COVID-19.

During the quarantine period, health teams screened other residents in the area to identify people with the virus. It, however, later emerged that in fact more people in the neighborhood had traveled from Istanbul, and Mikail Duman, the muhtar, did not inform the authorities about those people.

Duman has been dismissed from his post for neglecting duty.

Health teams carried out further screening in the neighborhood on April 16 and 12 more people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number of total cases to 20.

Authorities noted that on April 7 there was only one case in Örmetaş, but the figure rose to 20 thanks to the muhtar’s negligence. They also stressed that nearly 20 percent of all cases in Van originated from this particular neighborhood.

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