63.6 million Turks under lockdown during 2-day curfew amid coronavirus epidemic

2020-04-13 04:00:36Xinhua Editor : Wang Fan ECNS App Download
Photo taken on April 11, 2020 shows an empty area under a two-day curfew in Ankara, Turkey. (Xinhua)

Photo taken on April 11, 2020 shows an empty area under a two-day curfew in Ankara, Turkey. (Xinhua)

Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

More than 63.6 million people across Turkey were locked down at home on Sunday, the last day of the curfew which was declared on Friday to curb the fast spread of COVID-19 in the country.

According to a written statement issued by the Interior Ministry on Sunday, the majority of Turkish citizens, who have been barred from going out, have so far complied with the ban.

The lockdown came with a surprise announcement of the Interior Ministry on Friday night, saying it would be put into effect at midnight and would last two days until midnight on Sunday.

The ministry said the curfew would cover more than 63.6 million people in 31 out of 81 provinces, including major cities such as Istanbul, the capital Ankara and the western province of Izmir.

"Bakeries, hospitals, pharmacies, and workplaces producing health and medical supplies" would continue to operate, the ministry noted in a circular sent to the involved governorates.

Local officials have distributed loaves of bread they bought from the bakeries to the public in the neighborhoods, while security forces across the country beefed up their controls to impose the curfew.

According to the latest data from the ministry, a total of 18,770 people were fined for violating the curfew.

Since Saturday, police from low-flying helicopters have been calling on people to stay at home in the southern province of Adana, a video aired by CNNTurk showed.

While the curfew will end at midnight on Sunday, Ibrahim Kalin, the presidential spokesman, said in a televised interview earlier in the day that new lockdown decisions could be possible in the upcoming days.

Speaking to CNNTurk, Kalin said the weather condition in the country has been getting better, making people want to go out, which could create an extensive health risk.

Turkey has so far registered 52,167 COVID-19 cases and 1,101 deaths.


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