Turkey COVID-19 cases rise to four-month high as masks made mandatory

Turkey recorded 1,763 new daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest number since May 8.

Turkey made the wearing of protective masks mandatory in a circular on Tuesday, citing a spike in infections. Cases have jumped from around 1,000 per day in May and from 838 on May 31, just prior to the government easing nationwide lockdowns. 

"The number of patients in critical condition continues to rise. Our losses hurt,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.

“What will stop this situation is compliance with the measures together."

Turkey’s government has faced criticism from medical associations and the mayors of the country’s largest cities of Istanbul and Ankara over its handling of the pandemic and the accuracy of official data. Since early June, the government has sought to keep the economy running and revive the depressed tourism industry while introducing ad-hoc measures to contain the virus’s spread.

The daily death toll rose by 52 to 6,782 on Tuesday. The total number of infections reached 283,270, according to the Health Ministry data.