Turkey tightens virus measures with weekend lockdown

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced tougher measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Turkey as the number of cases exceeded 30,000 on Monday, introducing a total weekend lockdown and a curfew for the rest of the week.

Turkey had already imposed a partial weekend lockdown this month but the recent surge in the number of virus cases forced the government to take stronger measures.

Under the new restrictions beginning from Tuesday, a curfew will be imposed on weekdays from 9:00 pm. to 5:00 am.

Over the weekend the lockdown will last from 9:00 pm Friday until 5:00 am on Monday, Erdogan said in a televised address after a weekly cabinet meeting.

Turkey registered 31,219 new cases on Monday—the highest so far—and the reached 638,857. The virus-related death toll surged to 13,746 including new 188 fatalities on Monday.

Erdogan said the " seen all over the world" in the number of COVID-19 cases "is unfortunately having an impact in our country".

"There is no remedy other than reduce people's mobility as much as possible," he added.

The government insistently urges citizens to strictly follow the measures.

"It is not a but a necessity," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said last week.

© 2020 AFP

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