Turkish capital bans mass rallies, meetings citing COVID-19

The Governor of Ankara has banned rallies and mass meetings for 15 days after Health Minister Fahrettin Koca warned of an increase in COVID-19 infections in Turkey’s capital city, Hürriyet Daily News reported on Friday.

All sorts of meetings, demonstrations, marches and mass activities were banned for 15 days in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus, the Ankara Governor’s Vasip Şahin’s office said in a statement cited by Hürriyet Daily News.

It came after Health Minister Koca cited Ankara among the cities where there is a rise in the new infections, along with Gaziantep, Bursa, and Konya.

Turkey’s Health Ministry released a breakdown of COVID-19 cases by region, age and gender in a report for the first time on Thursday.

Between March 11, when Turkey’s first official COVID-19 case was recorded, and July 2 Turkey recorded 5,167 deaths from the virus out of 202,284 cases. As of Thursday, there were 1,067 people still in intensive care units, with 372 patients intubated.

Since starting to significantly ease COVID-19 restrictions on June 1, the country has seen a rise in daily diagnoses, with between 1,000 and 1,500 cases recorded every day since June 11.