ISTANBUL, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's biggest city Istanbul adopted alternate working hours for public employees to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic over the rising number of daily cases, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya announced on Friday.
Speaking at a press conference, Yerlikaya said the new program aimed to reduce the crowd on public transport during rush hours to restrain the contamination risk.
He noted that under the new program, police, gendarmerie, and coast guard officers will have their shifts start at 7 a.m. while municipality workers at 8 a.m. and health workers at 8:30 a.m. All other public employees will work between 9:00 a.m to 4:30 p.m.
The governor emphasized that the alternate and flexible working hours would also be adopted for the private sectors as well after finalizing the details.
In Istanbul, with a population of over 16 million, there are 5.5 million public employees, he said, adding that currently, 4.1 million people are using public transport each day. This number was previously 7.5 million before the pandemic, according to Yerlikaya.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced from his Twitter account that the total number of people infected with the disease has almost reached 300,000 in the country as of Friday.
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