Turkey, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Turkey reintroduces restrictions to curb virus spread

Hairdressers, wedding halls, cinemas, restaurants to close at 10 pm local time, takeaway service will be allowed

Jeyhun Aliyev, Burak Dağ   | 03.11.2020
Turkey reintroduces restrictions to curb virus spread


The Turkish leader on Tuesday announced measures to be reintroduced to stem the spread of coronavirus, with several public places to close earlier.

Hairdressers, wedding halls, swimming pools, astroturfs, theaters, cinemas, concert halls, and similar places will close at 10 p.m. (1900GMT), Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a news conference in the capital Ankara following the Cabinet meeting at the presidential complex.

The restrictions will also apply to cafes and restaurants, however, they will be allowed to offer food for takeaway after 10 p.m.

As part of the step, which came amid rising coronavirus tally in Turkey, flexible working hours will be encouraged in private and public sectors across the country, Erdogan said.

He also reiterated that Turkey will offer "own vaccines" to the public in spring.

Turkey on Tuesday reported 2,343 new patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and 79 fatalities, as well as 1,817 recoveries, according to Health Ministry data.

Wearing masks is compulsory in all public areas and outdoors in the country.

Across the world, COVID-19 has claimed more than 1.2 million lives in 190 countries and regions since last December.

The US, India and Brazil are currently the worst-hit countries. 

Over 47 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 31.4 million, according to figures compiled by the US' Johns Hopkins University.

Izmir earthquake

Turkey plans to start the construction of new houses within a month in the wake of last week's powerful earthquake in the Aegean region, the president pledged.

"Some 29 million Turkish liras (around $3.45 million) fund has been sent to our institutions to be used in their work [following the quake]," Erdogan added.

The assistance will also include 30,000 Turkish liras (around $3,560) in support of people whose houses were either demolished or are in a state of collapse, he said.

"Likewise, we provide 13,000 Turkish liras [$1,540] to householders and 5,000 Turkish liras [$590] to tenants for moving," he said.

Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in a statement that the Izmir quake death toll rose to 111, and treatment of 137 people continues.

"We will not lose our hope until last person under debris is reached," Erdogan said.

He also underlined that Turkey aims to renew 1.5 million houses in the next five years as part of the country's urban transformation project.

Turkey is among the world's most seismically active zones, and has suffered devastating earthquakes in the past, including the 7.4 Marmara quake of 1999.

A total of 1,621 aftershocks – 44 of them with a magnitude higher than 4.0 – have been recorded since last Friday’s quake rattled Izmir, Turkey.

Vienna attack

Also touching a terrorist attack in Austria’s capital on Monday, Erdogan condemned the assault causing casualties.

“Some of the European countries are pushing the limits to attempt to redefine and reform Islam in their own way,” Erdogan said.

At least four people died and 17 more were wounded in the terror attack in Vienna on Monday evening, authorities confirmed.

The injured include a police officer, according to the Vienna Police Department.

Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said the main assailant, who was killed by the police last night, was a sympathizer of the Daesh/ISIS terror group.

The 20-year-old was known to police as he was arrested last year for attempting to travel to Syria to join terror group Daesh, Nehammer told Austrian news agency APA.

He also said that at least one other suspect was still on the run, urging citizens to stay indoors and keep away from public places.

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