The Interior Ministry on Sunday issued a circular letter regarding the protection and feeding of stray animals affected by Turkey's social distancing policies to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The ministry urged local administrations to leave food at the designated locations on a regular basis so that the animals would not starve. Stray animals are receiving less food from locals as all are urged to stay home and much fewer people are on the streets.
"Food and water will be left at the living environments of street animals such as parks and gardens and particularly animal shelters," the ministry said.
Stray animals in Turkey are vaccinated by local municipalities' veterinarians and are also regularly fed. Caring for needy animals is a part of the culture in Turkish society, and many citizens also contribute to looking after stray dogs and cats in their neighborhoods.
With the coronavirus death toll and the number of registered cases rising, the Turkish government continues to impose new measures against COVID-19, including restrictions on the movement of those 20 or younger and those 65 or older, along with those suffering from chronic diseases.
The virus has so far claimed 574 lives in Turkey, where over 27,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, while more than 1,000 others have recovered and been discharged from the hospital.
Data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University shows worldwide infections have surpassed 1.25 million, with 68,000 deaths. More than 258,000 people have recovered so far.
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