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Turkey is not considering bringing back curfews amid pandemic, minister says

Turkey is not considering bringing back curfews amid pandemic, minister says

Fluctuations and occasional regional surges in the number of coronavirus patients shape Turkey’s strategy against the pandemic. As the country adapts to national regulations and a wide variety of measures specific to each province, a new rise in the numbers drove the authorities to take extra steps starting this week. Nevertheless, the harsh measures implemented in the early days of the outbreak are unlikely to return. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said they were not planning a curfew in the face of the increase in case numbers but urged the public to be more sensitive to rules, especially wearing masks.

Turkey has reported 1,815 new coronavirus patients and over 1,500 recoveries in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed Sunday. Health authorities conducted 101,403 coronavirus tests across the country, pushing the total number of tests to more than 12 million since the outbreak began. The country’s death toll from the disease reached 9,296, with 72 new fatalities. While the total number of patients now stands at 347,493, data showed that 1,504 patients had recovered from COVID-19, taking the total recoveries to 304,003.

As part of a “normalization” process, Turkey ended regular weekend curfews in big cities early in the summer and later lifted curfews for the elderly and the children. Starting from June, it allowed businesses to reopen as well. Authorities focused on rolling out restrictions on a provincial basis and the government handed over the responsibility to impose new restrictions to the governorate of each province. Yet, the most vital measures remained in place and were tightened even more, namely, mandatory mask use while outside and hygiene and social-distancing rules.

“We will be successful based on the level of compliance with the measures,” Koca told broadcaster CNN Türk on Sunday.