Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Turkey Imposes Partial Lockdown Over Record Coronavirus Cases

Turkey Imposes Partial Lockdown Over Record Coronavirus Cases

Thursday, 15 April, 2021 - 06:45
Social distancing in a mosque in Istanbul on the eve of Ramadan. (AP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed a series of measures for Ramadan, saying that the country would be switching to partial lockdown in the first two weeks of the holy month to decrease the coronavirus caseload.

Turkey, which recorded about 60,000 new infections, will increase restrictions during Ramadan.

The Interior Ministry outlined Turkey's new life under pandemic measures with a series of instructions.

"The recent rise in the number of infections and deaths, especially in big cities, has forced us to tighten up measures once again," Erdogan said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Under the new restrictions, the weekday curfew will start at 7.00 p.m. instead of 9.00 p.m. and last until 5 a.m., during which inter-city travel will also be banned except for necessary and urgent situations.

A nationwide weekend curfew that was re-enforced on April 2 will continue until May 17.

Those aged 65 and over and under 18 can go out during limited hours on weekends. People aged 65 and over will be able to go out between 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and those under 18 between 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

Meanwhile, citizens over the age of 65 and below the age of 18 won’t be allowed to use public transportation.

Cafes and restaurants will also only provide home delivery and takeaway services, while wedding halls, sports centers, and game halls will be closed until the end of the Eid holiday marking the end of Ramadan in the country.

Further, most students will return to distance learning.

Private companies will also be encouraged to switch to flexible working hours if the circumstances allow.

Pregnant staff, female employees with young children, disabled personnel, personnel aged 60 and above and those with chronic illnesses were placed on administrative leave.

Breaking another record, Turkey reported almost 60,000 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest single-day figure since the start of the pandemic.

As of Tuesday, Turkey had registered a total of 34,455 deaths from COVID-19, while over 3.42 million people have recovered from the disease. There have been over 3.96 million confirmed cases in the country.

Editor Picks