A three-day curfew will be in effect in 31 Turkish provinces starting Friday, May 1, in the latest measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday following his Cabinet meeting, adding that the government is planning to continue curfews on weekends up until the Ramadan Bayram (Eid al-Fitr). Turkey marks Labor and Solidarity Day on May 1.
The move came after the same provinces, including 30 metropolitan provinces and the northern province of Zonguldak, went through a four-day curfew that started on April 23, Thursday – when the country marked the National Sovereignty and Children's Day – and ended April 26, Sunday.
Underlining that Turkey has the best ratio for the number of deaths compared to cases in Europe, Erdoğan said the country has entered a period in which it is achieving concrete results in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak as new COVID-19 patients and related deaths are dropping day by day.
"We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope we can celebrate two bayrams after Ramadan," Erdoğan said, thanking citizens for their cooperation and compliance with measures announced by authorities.
Stressing Turkey's efforts to help countries in need to combat COVID-19, Erdoğan said Turkey is sending medical aid to the U.S. comprised of N95 masks, face shields, protective garments and disinfectant. "Military transport planes carrying these supplies will depart tomorrow," the president said. "We have provided 55 countries with supplies to fight the outbreak," he added.
The personal protective equipment includes 500,000 surgical masks, 400 N95 masks, 4,000 overalls, 2,000 litres of disinfectant, 1,500 goggles and 500 face shields on Washington's request, the presidency said.
"We have brought 40,000 citizens back to Turkey, we are planning to bring back 25,000 more from 59 countries," Erdoğan said.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Monday there were 95 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide toll to 2,900. In the same period, 2,131 people tested positive, raising the tally of confirmed cases to 112,261.