Turkey to take measures against COVID-19 during Ramadan

Turkey to take measures against COVID-19 during Ramadan

Events that may draw crowds will not be allowed during Muslim fasting month

By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s Interior Ministry issued a circular Wednesday on measures that will be taken against the novel coronavirus during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

According to the circular, events as well as tents where people gather for iftar, or breaking their fast, which may attract large groups of people will not be allowed.

The ministry said all necessary precautions will be taken during iftar and sahur - the meal before starting to fast -- to maintain social distancing outdoors.

The temporary closure of streets that may be crowded during iftar and sahur times will be evaluated within the scope of the measures. Visits to holy shrines will be also restricted.

The municipalities will also coordinate the increase in the number of vehicles and trips via public transportation at least three hours before iftar, considering the traffic density.

The selling time of pide – a traditional round and flat bread generally consumed during the fasting month – will be terminated two hours before iftar in order to prevent crowds from gathering at bakeries. Production, sales and other preparation processes will continue in bakeries after iftar hours.

Marketplaces will also be controlled to ensure that citizens follow social distancing rules and wear medical face masks.

Social distancing will also be enforced among visitors to cemeteries on the eve of and during Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the fasting month, and officials will take their temperatures.

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