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Turkey announces full lockdown to curb COVID spread

Turkey will enforce a full lockdown from Thursday until May 17 to stem the spread of coronavirus, the country’s president announced on Monday.

Speaking to reporters following a three-hour Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said all workplaces will suspend their activities during the restrictions, except those excluded by the Interior Ministry.

“We must rapidly reduce our number of cases to less than 5,000 … otherwise we will face the consequences in every field from tourism to trade and education,” he said.

All intercity travel will be subject to permission, whereas public transport will operate at 50% capacity, he added.

Erdogan said face-to-face education at all institutions including kindergartens and nurseries would remain suspended, and all exams would be postponed.

Over 37,000 new cases

Turkey’s Health Ministry confirmed 37,312 new COVID-19 cases, including 2,716 symptomatic patients, in the last 24 hours.

The new infections pushed the overall caseload to…

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