Turkey’s coronavirus death toll reaches 3,520 with 59 new fatalities, while the number of recovered patients hit 73,285 with 1,832 new releases, the health minister said on Tuesday.
Sharing the pandemic's daily updates on his Twitter account, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca expressed that the number of intensive care patients keeps falling, while the number of recovered cases are on the rise, which shows the measures against the outbreak are proving successful.
According to the latest figures, there are 1,338 intensive care patients in Turkey and 5,119 people have recovered from the virus over the past 24 hours.
In the same period, over 33,283 additional tests were conducted for a total exceeding 1.2 million.
Some 707 patients remain intubated.
After weeks of strict measures, the government eased some restrictions. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a weekly cabinet meeting later on Monday and announced several relaxed COVID-19 regulations.
Erdoğan said shopping malls, barbershops and some stores would be allowed to open on May 11 as long as they abide by normalization rules, including allowing a limited number of customers inside with strict hygiene and social distancing rules.
Erdoğan said universities would “return to their academic calendar” as of June 15.
Turkey will also lifted coronavirus travel restrictions for Antalya, Aydın, Erzurum, Hatay, Malatya, Mersin and Muğla. Travel to and from these seven provinces will be permitted starting Monday night. Entrance and exit bans will stay in place for the remaining 24, which includes Turkey’s economic and cultural hub of Istanbul and capital Ankara, for 15 days.
Turkey has not imposed a stringent nationwide lockdown since reporting its first positive case on March 11, resorting instead to weekend curfews in 31 provinces and cities.
COVID-19 cases have been reported in 187 countries and regions since it emerged in China last December, with the U.S. and Europe now the hardest-hit areas.