Pandemic measure non-compliance could prompt increased restrictions - Erdoğan

More pandemic restrictions would be underway if Turkish citizens failed to follow current COVID-19 measures, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday, amid a partial lockdown to stem soaring infections in the country.

If the nation followed the country’s guidelines, including mask-wearing and social distancing, Turkey will succeed in turning the pandemic trajectory downward, Erdoğan said during an online speech for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) regional congress, according to news website Diken.

“God willing, in a few weeks we will succeed in once again turning the outbreak trajectory downward,’’ he said.  “Otherwise, we may be faced with having to extend restrictions or maybe even introduce additional measures.’’

Erdoğan’s remarks arrive on day two of a partial weekend lockdown nationwide, introduced following a record-breaking number of infections.

Turkey's daily coronavirus death toll hit a record high on Saturday, with 5,532 people diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, according to Health Ministry data. The daily death toll from COVID-19 was 135, bringing the cumulative total to 12,219.

Other measures that began on Saturday include limited opening hours of restaurants, cafes and shopping malls and a complete move to distance learning in public schools until the end of the semester.