Turkey recorded 988 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Thursday.
With this latest update, the death toll in Turkey from the coronavirus pandemic rose to 4,630. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey, however, reached 167,410.
"The number of (daily) tests, including ones for tracing, has crossed 54,000. The number of patients in need of intensive care has kept falling," Koca said in a tweet.
The number of recovered patients, in the meantime, increased by 926 with the number of recoveries crossing 130,000.
Later on Thursday, the Interior Ministry announced that Turkey will continue to impose lockdown in 15 provinces, including Istanbul, this weekend.
The curfew will be in effect in Ankara as well as Istanbul, Izmir, Balıkesir, Bursa, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Manisa, Sakarya, Samsun, Van and Zonguldak.
Markets, grocery stores, greengrocers, and butchers will continue to operate.
Also, bakeries will remain open during the curfew.
The first curfew was declared April 11-12 and was followed by subsequent ones in the recent weeks.
Turkey eased the majority of coronavirus restrictions on Monday, following a slowdown in confirmed COVID-19 infections and deaths in the country.
Restaurants and cafes opened their doors to a limited number of customers after nearly two months of takeout-only services.
Istanbul’s 15th-century Grand Bazaar, museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools, childcare centers and nurseries were among the other venues allowed to reopen.
Bars, nightclubs and hookah bars, however, will remain closed. Other businesses will be required to ensure social distancing and strict hygiene conditions.
A stay-at-home order for people age 65 and older and minors also remains in place.
Meanwhile, the country's flag carrier Turkish Airlines resumed limited domestic flights.
Earlier last month, shopping malls were allowed to reopen along with barbershops, hairdressers and beauty salons. Worshippers held their first communal Friday prayers in more than two months last week.
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