Turkey begins 4-day coronavirus curfew in 31 provinces

Turkey began enforcing a four-day curfew in 31 provinces as of midnight Wednesday to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The curfew notice, sent in a circular by the Interior Ministry to the governors of the provinces, was ordered in the capital Ankara as well as Adana, Antalya, Aydin, Balikesir, Bursa, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Ordu, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Tekirdag, Trabzon, Van and Zonguldak.

According to the circular, bakeries, hospitals, pharmacies and workplaces producing health products and medical supplies will continue to operate.

Markets and grocery stores will operate from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 23-24 due to the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

They will be closed on April 25 and 26.

People who work in certain job sectors will be exempted.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that Turkey planned to extend its curfew over the weekend in 31 provinces as part of measures against the virus.

April 23 is a public holiday commemorating the foundation of Turkey’s parliament and the country also observes National Sovereignty Day and Children’s Day every year.

For the first time, Turkey imposed a 48-hour curfew in 31 provinces across the country on April 11-12 as part of measures to combat COVID-19.

The country confirmed 117 more fatalities from the coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 2,376.

The novel coronavirus has spread to 185 countries and regions since emerging in Wuhan, China last December, with the U.S. and Europe now the hardest-hit areas.

There are over 2.6 million coronavirus cases worldwide with more than 182,700 deaths. More than 707,300 people have recovered, according to data compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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