By Duygu Yener and Yesim Sert Karaaslan
ANKARA (AA) – The upward trend in COVID-19 numbers previously seen in major cities such as Istanbul, Izmir, and Bursa has now spread to nearly all of Turkey, the country’s health minister warned on Wednesday.
“While we have been able to cope with the rising numbers, radical measures to stop the virus’ spread seem inevitable,” Fahrettin Koca said in a meeting of the parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission in the capital Ankara.
Speaking to reporters prior to the meeting, he said more restrictions can only be avoided if people respect safety guidelines.
“I don’t think we will have to impose any new measures as long as the existing ones are followed. New restrictions are inevitable if people do not abide by the measures we have recently introduced.”
He urged Turkey’s 83 million people to respect and obey the government’s virus safety measures, stressing that the fight against COVID-19 can only be won with unity.
Koca’s remarks came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a series of new measures to stem the virus’s spread, including a partial weekend curfew.
To avoid disrupting supply and production chains, the curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. starting this Friday.
The new restrictions were announced as 3,819 more COVID-19 patients raised Turkey’s overall count to 421,413, including 11,704 deaths.
*Writing by Merve Aydogan