Meetings and demonstrations of any kind have been banned in Turkey’s capital Ankara over a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
Ankara Governorate said in a statement Thursday that in addition to other restrictions being imposed, it is also obligatory to wear masks when in public.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca warned a day earlier that cases were on the rise in Ankara.
The country's number of infections has surpassed 200,000, 175,000 of whom have recovered from the disease so far; and its death toll from the coronavirus rose to 5,150, with 19 new fatalities reported over the last 24 hours.
Health care professionals conducted over 52,000 tests for the disease since Monday, raising the overall count above 3.43 million.
Nearly 54% of all COVID-19 patients in the country are in the metropolis of Istanbul, Koca said. He noted that there had been a decreasing trend in the average age of COVID-19 cases over the last month, with most cases occurring between the ages of 25 and 45.
Koca stressed that the idea that the virus had weakened and that its spread had slowed was misleading and lacked scientific evidence. "Anyone who is conscious about the COVID-19 pandemic and complies with the rules is a hero that saves lives in today's conditions," he added.
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