Turkey says coronavirus pandemic 'under control'

10:23 PM | 6 May, 2020
Turkey says coronavirus pandemic 'under control'
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ANKARA – The coronavirus pandemic is "under control" in Turkey, the country's health minister said on Wednesday, but warned citizens they still need to take the necessary precautions.

The number of deaths per day in Turkey has fallen in the past week, remaining under 100 within a 24-hour period since April 26.

And new infections are sharply down on the peak of over 5,000 in one day last month.

"The pandemic is under control but the realities of the virus have not changed. Your homes remain the safest place against the virus," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

He said Turkey had "completed the first phase in the fight against the coronavirus" but said people must now have a "controlled social life".

Koca warned that the "second phase" would only be successful if people followed rules when outside such as wearing masks and practising social distancing.

Shopping centres will reopen on May 11 with only a limited number of people allowed inside, but Koca stressed that restaurants and cafes inside the malls will not open.

Barbers and hairdressers will also be allowed to open but weekend lockdowns will continue in 31 cities including Ankara and Istanbul.

Turkey has so far recorded 3,520 coronavirus deaths and nearly 130,000 confirmed infections after the first positive case was confirmed on March 11.