The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has warned its deputies to be careful when accepting visitors at Parliament, as the coronavirus continues to threaten public health.
The party has urged its deputies to handle citizens' requests via phone or through written communication and avoid face-to-face meetings unless there are no alternatives.
AK Party's group presidency sent a written statement where it cautioned that despite a ban on visitors entering Parliament, many deputies had been hosting guests in their offices.
The statement said if the bans were violated, the consequences would be of concern to the entire Turkish public and thus parliamentarians were responsible for taking necessary measures against the pandemic.
Back in March, the Turkish Parliament barred visitors as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.
Parliament also postponed its centennial anniversary events. Furthermore, a new schedule of working hours for parliamentary staff was announced, implementing a rotation system. Thermal cameras that measure body temperature have been placed at the three main doors of Parliament to detect potential COVID-19 cases.
The entire Turkish political cadre has shown increasing concern over the coronavirus and its effects, with parties integrating measures aimed at preventing the virus's spread from interfering with the carrying out of political duties across the country and in Parliament. Political parties represented in Parliament have also canceled group meetings.
Turkey's COVID-19 death toll reached 5,046 with 21 new deaths Thursday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed.
The number of cases, meanwhile, increased by 1,458 to 193,115, with 52,303 tests carried out Thursday, the minister said on his Twitter account.
According to Koca, 1,472 patients recovered in the previous 24 hours, taking the total number of recovered patients to 165,706.
Turkey has so far carried out a total of 3,135,424 tests.
"There was an increase in the number of intensive care patients. However, the length of intensive care unit stay and total treatment time of our patients have been shortened," the minister said.
941 COVID-19 patients were being treated in intensive care units, the minister added.
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