"Mutations continue to spread in Turkey, we are closely following the situation," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca warned late Wednesday in a press conference in Ankara.
"Nevertheless, they have not caused a significant increase in COVID-19 cases so far," he added.
"In March, easing or strengthening COVID-19 restrictions could be on the agenda depending on the prevalence of cases in each province," Koca said in response to a question asking whether restaurants and cafes would open.
Koca also underlined that Turkey has signed deals for 100 million coronavirus vaccines to date.
The Health Ministry has started distributing “mutation detection kits” to hospitals across the country as infections from a mutated version of COVID-19 recently rose. The ministry instructed health care workers to run a second test for each person who tests positive for the coronavirus to check whether they are infected with the new variants.
Last month, the Health Ministry announced that 128 citizens were infected with the mutated coronavirus and there were cases of the “U.K. variant” in 17 cities. The country has suspended flights to and from a number of countries as the infections were detected in people who traveled abroad.
Turkey has seen an uptick in the number of daily cases occasionally in recent weeks though no major surge has been recorded.
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