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Turkey recorded 62,797 new COVID-19 cases and 279 deaths in the last 24 hours, the country's highest daily figures since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
After reporting Wednesday’s numbers, the total number of cases recorded in Turkey has reached over four million, and the total death toll has risen to 34,737.
On Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that starting Wednesday, many new restrictions and a “partial closure” for the first two weeks of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would be implemented to curb the surge in cases.
“In the recent period, the rising case and death numbers mainly in metropolitan cities are directing us to tighten measures again…we cannot remain observers to this trend,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting that a weekday curfew's duration had been extended, including limitations on intercity travel and public transport, and banned all events in closed spaces until after Ramadan.
Erdogan warned that further measures could be announced within two weeks.
“If, in this two-week period, we cannot obtain the expected improvement in the picture we are targeting, implementing much tougher measures after that will become inevitable,” the Turkish president stated.
The number of new cases shot up over five-fold since early March when Erdogan began to cut back social curbs.
On Monday, Turkey's health minister warned of a third peak in the pandemic as the country ranks seventh globally in the number of coronavirus cases.