ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The daily number of new coronavirus cases in Turkey continuing to rise on Monday, weeks after the country relaxed restrictions.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Monday reported 1,592 confirmed new infections over the previous 24 hours — 30 more than Sunday’s figure.
Koca also reported 18 new deaths due to the coronavirus, bringing the total to 4,825. Turkey has recorded a total of 178,831 infections.
At the start of June, the government authorized cafes, restaurants, gyms, parks, beaches and museums to reopen and eased stay-at-home orders for the elderly and young. Turkey’s media is rife with reports of people flouting social distancing rules and ignoring advice to wear masks in public places.
Koca tweeted: “If we altogether abide by the mask + distance rule we can control the spread.”
Meanwhile, Turkey began testing 150,000 of its citizens in all 81 provinces to determine how widely the coronavirus has spread among the population. Nationwide testing began on Monday, although pilot programs were already underway in some locations.
The sample population is being tested both with PCR tests that are used to detect antigens from viral infections and antibody tests.