News World Erdogan says Turkey has lost some ground in coronavirus fight

Erdogan says Turkey has lost some ground in coronavirus fight

 

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey had lost some ground in its battle with the coronavirus but a focus on hygiene, masks and social distancing will protect people and help the economy rebound in the second half of the year.

This month, Ankara opened restaurants and cafes and lifted weekend stay-home orders and most intercity travel bans. But since June 1 new COVID-19 cases have doubled to nearly 1,600 per day, raising concerns of a re-emergence.

“The numbers in recent days show that we have lost our position in the fight against the epidemic,” Erdogan said in a televised address. “But we aim to remove the pandemic from our agenda by respecting the cleaning, mask and distance rules.”

As Turks have poured out into streets, parks, malls and to vacation spots, face masks were made compulsory in major cities on Thursday. On Friday new virus cases dipped to just over 1,200 with total cases at more than 185,000, the thirteenth highest in the world.

A separate general lockdown of several hours was imposed Saturday so students could go out to attend high school exams. Some Turks posted pictures on social media of tightly packed crowds near schools and criticised the decision to hold tests.

“Take a good look at these photos … shame,” said one on Twitter.

A week ago, Turkey’s top medical association criticised the decision to ease restrictions too soon.

Health and government officials have told Reuters a harder line on social distancing may be adopted even while they said there is no plan to slow the economy, which emerged this month from a near standstill since mid-March.

Most economists expect Turkey’s economy to contract this year.

But Erdogan said economic recovery signals have been “quite strong” since May, adding “we expect great momentum from the second half of the year.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

EU hails Biden’s ‘new dawn’ but wants tough tech rules

The European Union hailed Joe Biden's inauguration later on Wednesday as U.S. president as a "new dawn" for Europe and the United States, while...

German police bust gang suspected of smuggling Syrians from Turkey and Greece

German police arrested 19 people believed to be Syrian, Lebanese and Libyan on suspicion of smuggling migrants into Germany, mostly from Syria. Prosecutors in the...

Russian President Putin takes a dip in icy waters during celebrations of Epiphany

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes a dip in icy waters during celebrations of the Orthodox Christian feast of Epiphany in Moscow Region, Russia January...

Turkey blocks Cyprus from joining UN disarmament forum as observer

Talks aimed at overcoming a years-long deadlock over disarmament at the United Nations began in acrimony on Tuesday with two countries blocking rivals from...

Contract signed for construction of pavements in Agia Napa’s “Kokkines” area

Agia Napa municipality has signed a contract for the construction of pavements in “Kokkines” area - more specifically from Spyros Kyprianou Avenue to the...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...