ANKARA / ISTANBUL
Turkey has registered 4,542 additional patients afflicted with the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health on Thursday.
The country’s overall coronavirus count now stands at 430,170 patients.
No less than 2,918 patients also recovered during this period, bringing the total to 364,573, while deaths increased by 123 to 11,943.
Some 157,756 COVID-19 tests have been performed across the country, bringing the total to more than 16.7 million.
The weekly occupancy rate of hospital beds is 54.7%, while a total of 3,850 patients are in critical condition, according to ministry figures.
“If we take the measures ourselves, we will not be forced into mandatory restrictions,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.
“If we cannot turn the tide of the epidemic in our favor, there may be mandatory measures in all areas of our lives. Join the fight,” he added.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that partial weekend curfews would be imposed to stem the spread of the epidemic.
Curfews would be in effect on weekends, but travel will be permitted between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., so as not to disrupt supply and production chains.
The cinemas will remain closed until the end of the year.
Shopping malls, markets, restaurants and hairdressers will also be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. all week, with restaurants only offering delivery services.
A partial curfew that was already in place for people over 65 has also been expanded to include those under 20, except for those who have to go out to work. These will be allowed outside their home from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. throughout the week.
The virus has claimed nearly 1.35 million lives in 191 countries and regions since last December, according to the United States-based Johns Hopkins University.
More than 56.4 million people have been infected and more than 36.2 million have recovered from the disease to date.
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