Turkey announces second peak of pandemic, new restrictions underway

Turkey is seeing the second peak of the coronavirus outbreak, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday, as the government banned and restricted a number of social gatherings across the country. 

The hike in Turkey’s COVID-19 cases are a result of "carelessness" at weddings and other social gatherings, T24 news site cited Koca as saying following a Science Council meeting.

Turkey has registered a steady increase in infections and deaths linked to the deadly virus.

The country recorded 1,572 new cases of coronavirus and 47 deaths on Tuesday, with 19,359 cases still active nationwide. Daily infections fell below 800, and active cases to close to 10,000, when Turkey lifted many of the pandemic restrictions at the beginning of June.

"We are sadly witnessing how (little) pandemic restrictions are being followed in vacation spots, recreational venues, open markets and ceremonies,’’ Koca said. "Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Bursa, Kayseri continue to remain among our high risk provinces.’’

Koca said Turkey’s active cases over the last 24 hours had increased by 649, while the number of patients in intensive care registered at 1,000.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Interior Ministry has sent a notice to all 81 of the country’s provinces, announcing a ban onrural weddings, henna nights and engagement ceremonies nation-wide as of Friday in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Other restrictions include a one-hour limit on weddings, which are to take place without dancing or serving any kind of food or beverage, T24 reported.