Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday announced a four-day lockdown over the New Year holidays, aimed at averting a new spike in coronavirus infections.
Erdogan said nationwide weekend lockdowns and daily evening curfews rolled out this month have slowed the spread of the virus, which has officially killed 16 464 people in the nation of 83 million.
Turkey’s daily Covid-19 deaths reached record highs this month before levelling off in the past few days .
Erdogan said the latest figures showed that Turkey’s restrictions were working and announced a nationwide curfew from 9:00 pm on December 31 to 5:00 am on January 4.
He said the lockdown was needed “to consolidate our good results” in fighting the virus.
Tracking Turkey’s infection numbers has been tricky because for five months officials only reported the number of symptomatic Covid-19 cases.
Without explanation, officials switched back to reporting the total number of infections and added up all the previously unreported cases on December 10.
Turkey reported 29,617 new infections on Monday — one of the fastest daily increases in Europe.