The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey rose to 153,548 on Thursday with 961 new infections reported over the last 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on his official Twitter account.
27 more fatalities brings the total death toll to 4,249.
“Despite a higher number of tests, the number of positive cases remains at the predicted level,” he said, pointing out that the number of patients in the intensive care units are falling as well.
In the last 24 hours 33,633 tests have been carried out, with the total number of tests reaching more than 1.7 million. A further 1,003 people have recovered from the virus, but 820 patients remain in the ICU.
The minister stressed that the lifestyle in the country has changed to a controlled social life, that everyone should take part in. “The only condition: Mask + 1.5 meters of social distance,” the statement read.
Coronavirus: What’s the secret behind Turkey’s success?
It is notable that among the top 10 countries with the most cases registered, including the UK, Italy, Spain, and many other European countries, Turkey has registered a lower death rate.
Anadolu Agency have produced a video giving insight into the main factors underlying the success of Turkey’s struggle against the pandemic and how the process is being managed.
Read more and watch the video here: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/latest-on-coronavirus-outbreak/coronavirus-what-is-secret-behind-turkeys-success/1849581
Turkey succeeds in COVID-19 fight, eases more restrictions
A cautiously optimistic Turkey has seen a further drop in COVID-19 deaths and the latest figures indicate that, with the current trend, the daily death toll may soon drop to zero.
Strict measures still remain in place although some are being eased, such as a temporary exclusion from curfew for citizens age 65 and above who will be able to go out on Sunday May 24 between the hours of 14.00 and 20.00.
A plan for reopening cafes and restaurants in the country will soon be shared with the public, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told a news conference following a meeting with his ministry’s Coronavirus Science Board, a task force fighting the pandemic, on Wednesday.
Face masks may have to be worn for protection at least until early 2021, according to an expert. Professor Levent Yamanel, a member of the Coronavirus Science Board, said people have to get accustomed to the “new normal.”
Professor Pınar Okyay, another member of the board, said Turkey had 15 days ahead, referring to the extension of travel bans and other restrictions, and this period will be key to a further drop in cases. “If people heed the recommendations and comply with rules, if we can pursue effective tracing efforts to find out who came in contact with new COVID-19 cases, we will see a decline in the pandemic,” she told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Thursday.
Okyay warned that the danger is not exclusive to big cities like Istanbul and Ankara but also smaller cities where there is “seasonal mobility” including coastal towns where people have summer residences.
“The pandemic has the risk of spreading to other regions which have been well protected against the virus so far. We need regional risk management and cooperation from citizens,” she said.
“We don’t know how long the fight with the virus will continue, so we are planning life around the measures,” – Health Minister Fahrettin Koca
Four-day curfew starts at midnight tonight
The four-day curfew in all 81 provinces imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the virus over Eid, will start at midnight tonight (22 May 2020)
The Ministry of the Interior have sent a circular with details of the four-day curfew to Turkey’s 81 provincial governorships.
Before the curfew:
On Thursday 21 May and Friday 22 May, markets, grocery stores, greengrocers, butchers and dried fruits can carry out their business activities until 23:00.
During the curfew:
On Saturday 23 May, people (except those aged 65 and over and 20 and below) will be allowed to go to the nearest markets and grocery stores* for essential items from 10:00 to 17:00
* Refers to stores within walking distance – NOT DRIVING DISTANCE.
All stores are closed on 24-25-26 May.
Restaurants and lokantas are allowed to offer a home delivery service only on Saturday 23 May, Sunday 24 May, Monday 25 May and Tuesday 26 May for the occasion of the Ramadan Feast.
Bakery vans will circulate round the area selling bread. Listen out for them blowing their car horns.
Relatives can visit graves on Sunday 24 May.
Citizens over 65 will be able to go out on Sunday May 24 between the hours of 14.00 and 20.00
The curfew will end at midnight on Tuesday 26 May 2020.
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Questions and Answers on Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update on the use of swimming pools
There is still a lot of uncertainty around whether or not swimming pools can be filled and used.
Fethiye Times has had the following official update from the Mayor’s office.
Hotel, motel, and public pools are still closed.
There are no restrictions for private pools and they can be filled and used.
Communal pools on private complexes can be filled and used as long as the following rules are adhered to:
Residents should not use the pool at the same time as other residents in the complex (apart from members of their families who live in the same household).
Social distancing rules must be followed in communal areas around the pool.
This information is correct as of Friday 22 May 2020.
There are now 5,232,431 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, of which 2,112,080 have recovered. The number of fatalities stands at 335,636.
Follow Fethiye Times on social media for regular updates.
Todays featured image: “Ölüdeniz from the Lycian Way” by Lyn Ward