Turkey’s daily Covid-19 cases hit a record high as restrictions are reimposed

The nearly empty shopping district on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul is seen during a general curfew on March 21. Elif Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Turkey reported 40,806 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, marking another record high in daily cases since the start of the pandemic, according to Turkish health ministry data released on Thursday.

It was Turkey’s highest single-day increase in new cases since the pandemic began in December 2020, when it recorded more than 33,000 new infections in a single day.

The surge comes as the country is facing new restrictions.

On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reimposed weekend curfews and announced plans for further restrictions, such as a ban on indoor dining during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan — set to begin on April 13. 

Erdogan said that the weekend lockdowns would occur in cities with the highest number of Covid-19 cases and that nationwide, evening lockdowns will remain in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The weekend lockdowns will effect 58 of 81 cities, encompassing 80 % of the country’s population, he said.

Restaurants and cafes will only be open for deliveries and takeout throughout Ramadan.

No mass gatherings will be allowed for the breaking of the fast, Iftar, or the early-morning pre-fast meal, Sahur, throughout the country. 

Turkey has recorded 3,357,988 total Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the health ministry.  On Thursday, the health ministry reported 176 new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 31,713.    

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