Turkey imposes stricter safety controls as Covid-19 cases surge

Ankara, Aug 23 : Turkish authorities have introduced stricter nationwide safety controls due to a recent surge in the number of coronavirus cases.

Public negligence of strict coronavirus measures, including mandatory mask-wearing and self-isolation for positive patients, is largely blamed for the increasing number in new cases, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Safety measures should be observed without concession. The surge in new cases is the result of negligence of social distancing and mask wearing,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Saturday.

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Koca also indicated that a mobile app detected that 95,000 people, who should have been in self-isolation, tried to purchase bus, train or plane tickets, attempting to break quarantine rules.

Since the start of August, the number of daily cases which dropped to around 700 gradually increased, pushing authorities to postpone the opening of schools to September 21 from August 31.

Education Minister Ziya Selcuk announced that the Ministry started to grant certificates that define a series of standards to prevent the further spread of the pandemic in schools.

Following the recommendations of the health officials, local authorities across the country have recently adopted a series of new measures for those over 65 years old, the most significant risk group against the coronavirus.

Elderly in over 20 provinces, including the capital Ankara, are now prevented from using public transportation in rush hours or entering crowded locations in certain hours of the day.

The Interior Ministry, meanwhile, launched its seventh comprehensive inspections since May to monitor compliance with the Covid-19 rules across the country.

Inspections have been carried out in markets, workplaces, groceries, bazaars, public transport vehicles, restaurants, cafeterias, taxis, among other places.

The first case of Covid-19 was reported on March 11 in Turkey and strict restrictions and partial lockdowns have been imposed nationwide before being mostly lifted on June 1.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assured that the coronavirus outbreak is under control despite a hike in daily cases but some doctors are worried that official numbers are not showing the real scope of the health crisis.

As of Sunday, the overall number of coronavirus cases in Turkey stood at 257,032, with 6,102 deaths.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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