Turkey imposes strict lockdown

Turkey will be entering a strict lockdown from beginning Thursday and continuing until May 17.

Turkey will be entering a strict lockdown from beginning Thursday and continuing until May 17. Picture: Pexels

CAPE TOWN, April 27 (ANA) – Turkish citizens will be expected to spend most of their time at home under a national “absolute lockdown” beginning Thursday and continuing until May 17, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared. The lockdown will be in place to combat an outbreak of coronavirus infections and deaths.

According to the Turkish health ministry, Turkey recorded 37,312 new Covid-19 infections and 353 deaths over the weekend, a dramatic decline from mid-April but still the fourth-highest figure globally.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, said the organisation had redeployed more than 2,000 employees to assist India’s response, according to Al Jazeera.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after a three-hour cabinet meeting that the latest steps against the virus would take effect Wednesday evening and would last for the first two weeks of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to Anadolu Agency.

Turks would be required to remain indoors except for necessary shopping trips and medical emergencies. Specific sectors may be excluded, including emergency response personnel and staff of the agricultural and processing industries.

Turkey’s goal is to dramatically minimise the number of cases and deaths associated with Covid-19, Erdogan said, adding that more stringent steps could be implemented if little progress is made in the first two weeks of the holy month.

“At a time when Europe is entering a phase of reopening, we need to rapidly cut our case numbers to below 5,000 not to be left behind. Otherwise, we will inevitably face high costs in every area, from tourism to trade and education,” Erdogan said.

Turkey has obtained the first deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and signed an agreement with Russia to begin domestic production of Sputnik V.

According to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine will soon be available in Turkey.

According to Daily Sabah, a Turkish firm has announced plans to mass manufacture the vaccine in the coming months.

Viscoran laç will manufacture the coronavirus vaccine at its facilities, the company announced Monday in a joint statement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Manufacturing will begin in the coming months.

African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay

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