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    Turkey President Erdogan announces steps to gradually ease COVID-19 restrictions

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.jpg
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday announced a series of steps to gradually ease COVID-19 restrictions.

    Speaking after attending a cabinet meeting via a video conference from Istanbul on Monday, Erdogan said the government would gradually ease the restrictions during May, June, and July, according to the media report.

    The travel restrictions for seven cities would be lifted as of tonight, but the limitations for 24 other provinces, including Istanbul, would continue, the president also noted.

    “Businesses such as barbershops, hairdressers, and beauty salons will be operational as of May 11 as long as they abide by the rules such as following cleaning rules, working with an appointment system, and serving half of the number of seats,” Erdogan added.

    Shopping malls will also be operational as of May 11 and the demobilization process would start on May 31, according to the president.

    Turkey’s first lockdown was imposed at the weekend on April 11-12, followed by the second on April 18-19, and lastly, four days of curfew on April 23-26.

    Earler, Turkey has replaced Iran as the hardest-hit nation by the coronavirus pandemic in the Middle East as the number of confirmed reached its peak.

    Taking to Twitter, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the country has reported 1,614 new COVID-19 cases and 64 more deaths during the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 127,659 and the death toll to 3,461.

    Turkey is set to replace Iran as the top country in the region with the most confirmed coronavirus cases as it has been witnessing daily fast growth in the new infections since it reported the first case on March 11.

    The global tally of coronavirus infections currently stands at 3,646,211, and 252,407 people have succumbed to the infection so far.

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