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If Turkey Extends Lockdown, Will Apparel Factories Still be Exempt? Week Ahead

Apparel manufacturers in sixth-largest garment supplier Turkey got a reprieve when the government implemented a three-week Covid-19 lockdown on April, but what if restrictions continue beyond the planned end date of May 17?

Turkey’s Ministry of the Interior exempted sectors including production and manufacturing, allowing apparel manufacturers, which exported more than over $17 billion last year, to continue with business as usual.

“Turkey is under a full lockdown but not essential operations. Agricultural products keep being delivered; the main engine of trade is running,” Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told Hurriyet Daily News.

What’s particularly troubling is that while the U.K. variant that exploded in January was considered highly infectious, other more recent mutations appear to be even more easily transmissible.

A month ago, India faced its second wave of Covid infections and now has more than 24 million reported cases, according Worldometer. Infections in the country account for half the total reported cases in the world last week, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

But the news might be getting worse on multiple fronts.

The Guardian noted that researchers at Imperial College London found from swabs taken between April 13 and May 3 in England that the mutation in India could be spreading faster than the U.K. variant, adding to fears that the pandemic has yet to subside even as economies lurch toward reopening.

Three weeks ago, Japan implemented new measures to curtail the spike in Covid rates. Currently, the country is closed to international tourists and a state of emergency was declared in four prefectures, including Tokyo on April 23. The new restrictions are set to expire on May 31, and while that could change, it appears that Japan is still planning on hosting the Olympics in late July. Whether it can remains to be seen, and if it can’t, that would have significant implications on advertisers and apparel firms involved with the Games.

Malaysia on Wednesday entered its third lockdown due to more contagious Covid mutations. And Thailand is facing a spike in Covid cases too. Both the Philippines and Thailand have halted travel from certain South Asian countries to curtail a rise in new infections, although Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is set to begin easing some restrictions on Monday.