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Covid-19: Turkey to impose new measures to curb coronavirus surge

All schools will remain closed until the year-end and there will be a curfew between 10am to 8pm on weekends, President Erdogan said
Erdogan said that the government needs people to cooperate with these measures in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Erdogan said the government needs people to cooperate with these measures in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus (AFP/File photo)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that authorities will impose stricter measures, including partial lockdowns on weekends, to tackle the surge in coronavirus cases.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan said all schools would remain closed until the year-end and restaurants and cafes will only offer delivery service.

The new measures include curfews that will be in place on weekends from 10am to 8pm and restricted hours for shopping malls, restaurants, and groceries. Cinemas will also be closed until the end of the year.

The movements of individuals under 20 and over 65 will also be restricted, with people only allowed to move outside of their homes from the hours of 10am to 4pm.

Professional sports will continue to be played, but without spectators attending matches.

"A lockdown restriction will be imposed outside the hours of 10:00-20:00 over the weekends in a way that will not disrupt supply and production chains," Erdogan said.

Turkey's advisory science board has recommended that the government should implement concrete measures to slow the spread of Covid-19, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Monday, as the number of daily cases continues to spike.

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Ankara only announces the daily number of symptomatic cases, of which there were 3,819 on Tuesday, as well as 103 deaths, both around the levels last seen in April, bringing the total death toll to 11,704 from the disease.

The country has 418,000 cases of the virus. 

The Turkish president said people must cooperate with the government concerning these measures in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

"If the increasing trend of the outbreak continues, it will become inevitable for the measures that resulted in painful outcomes for all of us to be back on the agenda," Erdogan said.

Human trials for a coronavirus vaccine have begun in Turkey, but the vaccine has yet to move out of the trial phase and into the market.