Turkey may take additional virus measures, says Erdoğan

Turkey may take additional virus measures, says Erdoğan

ISTANBUL

Turkey may take additional measures to bring the COVID-19 outbreak under control, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said as the country has seen a spike in the number of virus cases over the past weeks.

“We have to introduce those measures in line with the steps the Health Ministry has taken and we will continue to do so,” Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul on Nov. 27.

People are still ignoring basic anti-virus rules, such as social distancing, face masks and hygiene, the president stressed, calling on the public to stick to the restrictions.

“The Health Ministry’s Science Board is undertaking all necessary work and precautions. But what is crucial here is people’s compliance with the curbs,” Erdoğan said.

Turkey has a strong health infrastructure to handle the outbreak, he added.

The president also noted Turkey has been in talks regarding the supply of the vaccine for COVID-19 from other countries.

He spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca contacted his Chinese part regarding the issue, Erdoğan said.

Koca earlier this week announced that Ankara signed a contract to buy 50 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech.

At least 10 million doses of the Chinese vaccine will be delivered in December, but the target is to receive some 20 million doses and another 20 million doses are scheduled for January 2021 and at least 10 million doses will be received in February 2021, Koca said.

In the face of the surge in the virus cases, the government introduced a raft of restrictions, including partial curfews on weekends. Under the new curbs, people are allowed to venture outside from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

Movie theaters will remain closed until the end of the year.

Malls, markets, restaurants and hairdressers are now open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. throughout the week, with restaurants only providing delivery services.

Schools have already switched to online education.

All sports competitions will continue to be played without audiences and smoking on crowded streets and other public areas is banned.

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