Turkey to ease COVID-19 restrictions after Eid holiday

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that the country will gradually ease lockdown restrictions after the Eid holiday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“Hopefully, by bringing the pandemic under control, we will take steps towards normalization after Eid,” Erdoğan said in a video message celebrating the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday that will start on Thursday.

Erdoğan said restrictions became a necessity with rising cases and deaths.

Following the lockdown measures, which were imposed on April 29 after Turkey saw COVID-19 infections averaging around 60,000 a day during the peak week of April, the country’s daily cases dropped to some 25,000 this week, while the daily number of deaths has not shown the same decline.

The lockdown expected to last until May 17 prohibits people from leaving their homes except to shop for groceries or meet other essential needs and sees all non-essential businesses closed in addition to restricting travel between regions and closing supermarkets on Sundays for the first time.

On Tuesday Turkey confirmed a total of 14,497 cases across the country. The country’s overall case tally is now more than 5.05 million, while the nationwide death toll stands at 43,589.

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