Coronavirus: Turkey’s Erdogan orders businesses closed at 10 p.m. to fight COVID-19

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech after cabinet meeting at Presidential Complex in Ankara on November 3, 2020. (AFP)

Turkey's restaurants, cinemas and other businesses will have to shut at 10:00 p.m. to help fight rising coronavirus infections, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.

The announcement came less than a week after Turkey surpassed 10,000 coronavirus fatalities, with the number of new cases trending up for the past month.

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"Cafes, restaurants, bakeries, patisseries, barbers, wedding halls, swimming pools... theatres, cinemas and similar places will have to close at 10:00 p.m.," Erdogan said in Ankara after a cabinet meeting, without specifying when the measures will enter into force.

He said "flexible working" would be encouraged in both the private and public sectors, and that official supervision of markets and bazaars would increase.

But Erdogan insisted that Turkey had not lost control of the health crisis, stressing that the country's health infrastructure remained strong.

Turkish medical associations have questioned official virus statistics, suggesting that the real number of daily infections is substantially higher than reported.

Since July, the health ministry has been providing COVID-19 "patient" numbers, rather than the number of virus infections.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in September that the number only included people showing symptoms.

Turkey on Tuesday reported 79 virus-related deaths and 2,343 new "patients". Koca added that the number of seriously ill patients was also rising, standing at 2,386 on Tuesday.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 04 November 2020 KSA 00:57 - GMT 21:57
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