No blanket curfew mulled for Eid al-Adha holiday, says health minister
Imposing a nationwide curfew for the upcoming five-day Eid-al Adha holiday is unlikely but localized restrictions could be possible depending on how the situation unfolds, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
“The matter [lockdowns in all provinces] was discussed at the Science Board meeting however no proposal was tabled. Participants suggested that province-specific measures and restrictions could be taken. Curbs could be further tightened in provinces where infections spike,” Koca told a news conference following the board meeting on July 8.
He added that the issue will be assessed once again next week.
Turkey had implemented a nationwide curfew in the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of May.
The Eid al-Ahda holiday will take place between July 30 and Aug. 3 this year.
An expert recently warned that during Eid al-Adha, infections may spike if precautions are not taken and people ignore the rules.
“One million people in Istanbul could be at risk of contracting the COVID-19 disease, when thousands of people flock to unsanitary animal markets to slaughter livestock animals as a custom,” said Murat Arslan, the head of the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons of Istanbul.
The health minister also informed that most of the COVID-19 cases over the past three days were seen in the major province of Istanbul, the capital Ankara, the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep, Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa and Mardin, as well as the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
“The provinces in eastern, southeastern and Central Anatolian provinces are still experiencing the first wave of the outbreak. The virus cases already peaked in the fifth week of the outbreak in Istanbul, the western province of İzmir, and the northwestern provinces of Kocaeli, Sakarya and Eskişehir,” he said.
Koca reiterated his previous warning that crowded events such as weddings, engagement ceremonies and ceremonies to send-off conscripts to boot camps as well as marketplaces and shopping centers are still posing risks.
The minister also said that around 18,000 people have been fined over the past week for the coronavirus measures.
The number of coronavirus cases in Turkey is around 209,000 with the death toll from the disease nearing 5,300. Some 188,000 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the country, which has carried out nearly 3.8 million tests.