Turkey aims for July in relief from COVID-19 pandemic

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Tightened restrictions followed by a 17-day lockdown that ended earlier in May helped Turkey to bring the third wave in coronavirus pandemic under control. reports that the progress is evident in falling rates of positive tests and the lowest numbers of severely ill patients in six months. Authorities expect this trend to continue, with adhering to ongoing measures and a boost to the vaccination campaign, which is set to be endorsed with incentives. Eventually, the country aims to be largely relieved of the impact of the pandemic in July, one month after the anticipated start of a gradual normalization process.

The lockdown that ended on May 17 and upgraded nighttime and weekend curfews to all-day restrictions and imposed an intercity travel ban, apparently paid off as daily “positive” tests decreased to 4%. This figure was 5% in January, two months before the country launched a gradual normalization drive. The normalization was quickly scrapped when the cases climbed up again in a few weeks.

The restrictions also helped to cut the number of severely ill patients in half. The number of “active” patients, in the meantime, fell to around 120,000 and the coronavirus R number, which refers to the rate of one person’s ability to spread the virus to others, dropped to 0.9.

Curfews are still in place in the country during weekdays, although they start later, at 9 p.m., than before, while a 56-hour lockdown during the weekends still prevails after the full lockdown. The country relies on them to ensure a safer summer, ahead of autumn, a period where the cases tend to increase, as was the case last year. Indeed, a sudden surge in the cases last autumn challenged authorities to adopt new, tighter measures, from curfews to the shutdown of schools.

2021.05.25 / 22:34
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