"I hope that this statement won't lead to slacking off, but the coronavirus outbreak in Turkey is currently under control," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday.
"Number of recovered patients constitutes 70% of total cases, as 98,889 people out of 141,475 recovered," he said following a meeting with the science committee.
"Our filiation efforts have netted at least 722,000 people in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic," Koca added.
Underlining Turkey's success in battling the pandemic, Koca stated that no one should avoid social distancing and continue taking measures such as wearing masks.
"None should fail to observe social distancing, go out without a mask or protective gear, and everyone should continue to strictly abide by rules in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," the minister emphasized.
Later in the day, Koca published the daily coronavirus updates, in which the death toll rose by 58 with 1,638 new confirmed cases.
According to these latest figures, almost 3,000 people recovered in the last 24 hours in Turkey while the number of patients in ICUs fell under 1,000 for the first time.
During the press conference, Koca further stated that a controlled social life in Turkey is a strategy for the second phase in the fight against the pandemic.
"All our citizens should better comply with all rules of isolation from now on," he said.
The government initially imposed a curfew for the country’s senior citizens, ordering anyone aged 65 and above to stay home. The curfew was later extended to include youth aged 20 and below, as the number of coronavirus cases increased dramatically.
New infections across the country have been on the decline since April 21, however, prompting Ankara to ease some of the restrictions placed on daily life. According to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Tuesday, 1,704 new patients tested positive for the coronavirus in the previous 24 hours.
The improving outlook of the outbreak prompted Ankara to cut back on measures, even though Turkey never resorted to the draconian lockdowns Europe had to take, despite having dramatic spikes in new cases in late March.
It is still too early for celebration, authorities say, as they repeatedly warn against interpreting the easing of restrictions as a return to normal life. Hours before the free time for children kicked in, health and education ministers wished the children fun during their time outside but urged parents to remain cautious.
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