Turkey: Daily COVID-19 cases exceed 40,000, highest level yet

The latest peak came after cases surged since the government eased measures to curb the pandemic across the country in early March.

A vast majority of the country’s 81 provinces have been 'very high-risk' zone [File: EPA]
A vast majority of the country’s 81 provinces have been 'very high-risk' zone [File: EPA]

Turkey has reported 40,806 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest figure since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

The latest peak came on Thursday after cases surged since the government eased measures to curb the pandemic across the country in early March.

The total number of cases stands at more than 3.3 million. The latest daily death toll was 176, bringing the cumulative toll to 31,713.

On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a tightening of measures, including the return of full nationwide weekend lockdowns for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts on April 13.

A vast majority of the country’s 81 provinces have been in the “red” or “very high-risk” zone, including the cultural and economic hub of Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.

Communal meals during Ramadan have been prohibited for the second year running.

Mass gatherings in tents and other places for the pre-dawn and after-dusk meals will not be allowed.

Weekend curfews will be imposed in the “high risk” areas, which had reverted to Sunday-only lockdowns on March 1.

Daily overnight curfews, from 9pm to 5am, which are already being observed, stayed in place.

Restaurants and cafés across the country will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, and will be closed during Ramadan.

A nationwide inoculation campaign using China’s Sinovac vaccine began on January 14.

More than 15 million doses have since been administered.

Source: News Agencies

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