Turks may be forced to stay home in new COVID-19 restrictions

Turkey is expected to impose further COVID-19 restrictions following Tuesday’s cabinet meeting at the presidential complex in Ankara as the outbreak across the country worsens, the Hürriyet newspaper reported on Monday.

The Turkish government may extend weekend lockdowns, which have been applied from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m., to throughout the day to help stem the virus’ spread, Hürriyet said.

The curfew may also include weekdays in some cities where the pandemic cannot be controlled. Travel restrictions to and from big cities are also under consideration, the newspaper said.

Turkey has partially reinstated some COVID-19 measures applied in March, when the outbreak first took hold. The steps also including restrictions on movement for citizens aged 65 years and older and people under 20 years of age.

The cabinet may now reduce the 3-hour period in which citizens over 65 and under 20 can go out each day, Hürriyet reported.

On Sunday, the Health Ministry recorded 29,281 more COVID-19 infections in the previous 24 hours, just short of the record 30,103 cases registered a day earlier. Deaths hit 185, setting a daily record for the seventh consecutive day.

Despite Turkey’s re-inclusion of persons with COVID-19 infections who do not require hospital treatment in official figures earlier this month, independent medical authorities such as the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) are questioning the accuracy of the data, saying it is too low.