Turkey imposes curfew in 31 provinces, including Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir until Sunday midnight

Turkey Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu called on people to remain calm and urged against panic buying, saying the curfew will end on Sunday midnight.   

Turkey has imposed a 48-hour curfew in 31 provinces beginning at midnight as part of measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, the country’s Interior Ministry announced on Friday. 

The curfew is ordered in the capital Ankara, Adana, Antalya, Aydin, Balikesir, Bursa, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Ordu, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Tekirdag, Trabzon, Van and Zonguldak, the ministry said in a statement. 

A circular on the issue was sent to the governorship, it added. 

Bakeries, hospitals, pharmacies and workplaces producing health products and medical supplies would continue to operate, the circular said.  

The curfew would not be applicable for people who will be carrying out burial procedures for their first-degree-relatives and those who have an appointment for blood and plasma donation for the Turkish Red Crescent, it added.   

“This is not a normal curfew,” Soylu said, adding it is one of the measures taken to stem the spread of the virus.   

Turkey’s communications director also called on people to comply with the curfew.  

Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter that everyone should follow social distancing guidelines to help curb the spread of COVID-19 

On Friday, Turkey confirmed 98 more deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 1,006. 

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged to 47,029 where a total of 2,423 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. 

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe. 

The pandemic has killed more than 101,700 people, and infected over 1.67 million, while more than 372,400 people recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.  

Arab observer

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