coronavirus, COVID-19 in Turkey

Turkey exceeds 150,000 registered coronavirus positives

4,171 people have died from COVID-19, while 111,500 have overcome the disease. Erdoğan announced new measures on Monday, including a 4-day curfew that will start on Saturday.

Turkey’s Health Minister confirmed on Monday that the confirmed number of coronavirus cases registered in the Eurasian country has exceeded 150,000; for his part, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan announced new measures against the pandemic, including a new 4-day curfew at the end of Ramadan.

As explained by the Minister Fahrettin Koca, in the last 24 hours 1,158 new positive cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country, bringing the accumulated figure registered to date to 150,593. At the same time, the number of deaths in the last 24 hours by COVID-19 was 31, 4,171 in total.

“The number of patients needing intensive care and respiratory support continues to decline … The role played by the days we have spent (confined) at home is very important in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus,” said Koca, adding that in the last 24 hours, 1,615 COVID-19 patients had been discharged, which means that more than 111,500 people have overcome the virus.

Erdoğan announces a new 4-day curfew

For his part, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan announced the same day a new 4-day curfew that will begin next Saturday, May 23, coinciding with the last day of the holy month of Ramadan -in which the Muslims must fast- and the beginning of the feast for the end of Ramadan (Ramazan Bayramı in Turkish, Eid al-Fitr in Arabic).

Speaking after a meeting with his cabinet, Erdoğan announced that the schools will not reopen in the current academic year and that class attendance will not resume until September, with the start of the new course. He also explained that starting next May 29, congregational prayers in mosques will be allowed again for prayers after noon.

After detailing that financial aid has been provided to some 5.5 million low-income citizens to help them overcome the crisis created by the pandemic, the Turkish president also proclaimed the extension for another two months of house arrest for those prisoners who have been released temporarily from prison to avoid overcrowding and contagion in jails.

Finally, restrictions on travelling in 15 of the country’s 81 provinces will last another two weeks; the affected provinces will be Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Balıkesir, Bursa, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Manisa, Sakarya, Samsun, Van, and Zonguldak.

“Turkey is succeeding in winning the battle against this epidemic,” said Erdoğan, who added that there are no problems with the supply of medical supplies or PPE in the country, and asked citizens to comply with the rules of social distancing, warning of tougher measures in case of a rebound in cases or a second wave of the coronavirus.