If new daily cases fall below 1,000, it means Turkey is becoming successful in its fight against the coronavirus, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Wednesday.
The Turkish public largely adhered to preventive measures against coronavirus, Koca told a press conference following a meeting with the science committee.
"The world does not yet know when the outbreak will end. But in Turkey, we have seen the results of our measures," the minister noted. "Turkey succeeded in the first phase of the fight against coronavirus, it will succeed in this phase as well."
Turkey has been reporting a continued downward trajectory in COVID-19 deaths and confirmed infections over the recent days.
Koca's remarks came as the country reported a drop in its new daily COVID-19 cases to below 1,000 on Wednesday with 972 new cases over the last 24 hours.
The country's daily COVID-19 death toll rose by 23 to 4,222. The number of patients recovering from the disease increased to 113,987.
Turkey does not risk a second wave of infections from the new coronavirus at the moment, Koca said, adding that Ankara was preparing to start what he called controlled health tourism with 31 countries as of Wednesday. He added that charter flights may be arranged depending on demand.
As of Thursday, Turkish businesses will receive posters listing the rules to be followed to minimize the risk of spreading the infection, said the minister.
"The mobile app by the Health Ministry will be used to track inter-city travel," he said.
The citizens will be able to board planes and trains within Turkey after using the code from the app to show that they are not sick or carrying the virus.
About the curfew imposed on the elderly, Koca said they might be allowed to leave for their hometowns for Eid, on the condition that they stay there for the next 30 days.
In addition, Koca said the Turkish government is also planning to test passengers coming from abroad at airports and on land borders.
For re-opening cafes and restaurants in the country, a plan will soon be shared with the public, added the minister.
Turkey has opted for partial lockdowns, contact tracing and early treatment in combating the novel coronavirus. It has imposed lockdowns across major cities over the past five weekends, as well as on national holidays, in order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday he hoped the upcoming nationwide lockdown during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr from May 23-26 would be the final round.
Recalling curfew orders during the Eid holiday, Koca said "if we take precautions now, we will reap its benefits later on."
"We don't know how long the fight with the virus will continue, so we are planning life around the measures," Koca said.
Turkey usually celebrates the holiday, marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, across a three-day period. This year's holiday period is scheduled to fall on May 24-26.
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