Istanbul, Ankara and other major Turkish cities will be locked down for two days from midnight to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Interior Ministry said on Friday, as the country’s death toll from the epidemic rose above 1,000.
The move, which covers 31 provinces, scales up exiting curbs under which people under the age of 20 and senior citizens have been told to stay at home.
This is what happens when you announce a 48 hour lockdown three hours before it starts. As if COVID-19 wasn’t a problem enough already, tonight it gets a chance to spread like wildfire in all of the biggest cities of Turkey. pic.twitter.com/hUKvS4zREf
— Can Okar (@canokar) April 10, 2020
Ankara has also halted all international flights, restricted domestic travel, closed schools, bars, and cafes and suspended mass prayers. But people have still be going to work to sustain economic activity.
The Ministry said the new curbs, full details were not immediately available, would remain in force until midnight on Sunday.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased by 4,747 and 98 people died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 1,006, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said earlier.
He urged people to resist the temptation to leave their homes during the weekend as the weather warms.