Turkey’s health minister on Monday warned citizens against complacency as daily coronavirus cases doubled compared with figures in early June.
The country registered 1,592 new cases and 18 COVID-19 deaths for the past 24 hours, Fahrettin Koca said on his official Twitter account.
There were 786 infections in a 24-hour period on June 2. At the height of the pandemic, Turkey recorded over 5,000 daily cases in April.
Koca’s tweets often remonstrate those ignoring the continued dangers from the pandemic.
In capital letters, he wrote on Monday: “The increases are intensifying in certain areas” but did not offer further information.
“Will it be complacency or a fight? We will be able to control the spread if we all adhere to the mask and distancing rule,” Koca added in lower case lettering.
In recent weeks, Turkey has allowed intercity travel including the resumption of domestic flights, reopened cafes and restaurants, and ended weekend lockdowns.
With the latest figures, Turkey’s fatalities have reached 4,825 and the total number of cases are nearly 180,000.
Between April and late May, Turkey was under weekend curfews as the government sought to avoid a full lockdown like in France in a bid to keep the economy going.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) raised concerns last week over the move to ease restrictions as the reality of the situation in Turkey was not made clear.
“We haven’t been able to fully overcome the first wave yet,” Cavit Isik Yavuz, a member of the TTB’s group focused on coronavirus, said during an online press conference.
The TTB said on June 12 there was “no evidence” the outbreak had been brought under control, contradicting Turkish officials’ statements last month.