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Turkey to impose curfew in 31 provinces amid COVID-19

Four-day curfew in cities including Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir to remain in effect until midnight Sunday.

Turkey will impose a four-day curfew in 31 provinces beginning April 23 as part of measures 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, the ministry said in a statement.

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

The working hours of markets and grocery stores will be extended to 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. on April 21-22 due to the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

On April 23 and April 24, people will be allowed to go to the nearest markets and grocery stores from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The statement said markets and grocery stores 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 plans to extend the weekend curfew this week in 31 provinces as part of measures against the coronavirus.

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 curb the spread of the virus.

On Monday, Turkey confirmed 123 more fatalities from the coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 2,140.

The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, 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 2.4 million cases worldwide of the coronavirus with nearly 170,000 deaths. More than 645,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.


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