Turkey’s coronavirus death toll rises to 501, tougher measures implemented – live blog

Seventy-six patients have died in Turkey after contracting COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Saturday, raising the country’s death toll to 501.

Another 3,013 new cases in Turkey have been diagnosed out of the 19,664 tests administered in the previous 24 hours, Koca said. Turkey’s total confirmed number of cases has now risen to 23,934. Turkey on Friday evening announced new measures against the coronavirus pandemic, including a curfew for persons younger than 20, and a travel ban on 31 major provinces.

For the next 15 days, all entry and exit to 31 provinces will be banned, except for delivery of necessities like food, medicine and cleaning supplies, and logistics vehicles approved by the Interior Ministry. Factory workers in Turkey’s western provinces of Izmir and Istanbul have staged walkout protests over the lack of protective measures after several colleagues had tested positive for COVID-19.

Turkey’s trade union confederations DİSK and KESK, the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), and the Turkish Medical Association released a petition on Saturday, making a seven-point list of urgent demands on the government during the coronavirus.

The seven demands made by the petition urged the include paid leave for all workers, suspension of loan and utility payments, nationalisation of private medical services, and protection for medical staff and other frontline workers.

(All times Turkish time – GMT +3)

10:36 – Erdoğan says mining activities to be suspended in northern province of Zonguldak. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he has instructed authorities to suspend mining activities in Zonguldak where pulmonary diseases are widespread due to the coal mining industry.Turkey banned all entry and exit for Turkey’s 30 major provinces and Zonguldak on Saturday.

10:16 – 156 Turkish citizens abroad die after contracting coronavirus

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said 156 Turkish citizens living abroad had died after contracting the coronavirus. The minister also said almost 25,000 Turkish citizens living in 55 countries had been brought back to Turkey.

10:00 – Public, private sector workers younger than 20 excluded from curfew. Public and private sector workers, as well as seasonal agricultural workers, will be excluded from a curfew on persons younger than 20 years old, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

21:15 – Aegean coastal towns of Marmaris, Bodrum see spike in population

Two coastal towns in Turkey’s western region have seen a population increase of thousands over the past month as residents of large cities scramble to less populous areas of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 120,000 people have arrived in Bodrum in the past month, while 25,000 private cars have entered the town of Marmaris in the last two weeks, SoL news site said.

A large number of the cars in Marmaris are from Turkey’s largest cities of Istanbul, İzmir and Ankara, which are experiencing a high number of coronavirus cases, SoL said.

Source: Ahval