Turkey announces record low in daily death toll on last day of lockdown

Turkey’s official COVID-19 death toll rose by 28 to 4,199 in the past 24 hours, the lowest daily figure registered in the country since March 30, according to the Health Ministry’s latest data on Tuesday.

As in his recently previous briefings on Twitter, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca pointed to declining number of patients in intensive care and on respirators, which had dropped by 21 to 882 and 8 to 455 respectively.

The number of recovering patients since Monday evening is at the projected level, Koca said, which stood at 1,318 to bring the country’s recovery total to 112,895.

The total number of coronavirus tests conducted in the same period stood at 25,382, raising the total number of tests administered during Turkey’s outbreak to more than 1.67 million.

The Health Ministry recorded 1,022 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the last day of a 15-province wide four-day lockdown to curb the pandemic.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Monday a new lockdown to be effective in all of 81 provinces between May 23 and May 26, when the country celebrates Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of holy month of Ramadan.

Mosques deemed suitable by governorates and the Religious Affairs Directorate will resume worship on May 29, as part of Turkey’s steps towards normalisation. Two out of the five Islamic daily prayers will be held in congregation, while only individual worship will be allowed in mosques during other times.

Turkey’s Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday that convenience stores, greengrocers, meat butchers and dried fruit and nut vendors would remain open on Saturday May 23 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the upcoming Eid lockdown.

These shops will be closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, all bakeries that produce bread and dessert shops are set to remain open for the duration of the lockdown.