Face masks become mandatory in 42 Turkish provinces as virus cases jump

Turkey's health minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Tuesday that wearing face masks in public become mandatory in 42 provinces, as the number of coronavirus cases has spiked since many restrictions were eased.

The number of new cases is now almost double that in early June, when Turkey allowed cafes, restaurants, parks and other public venues to reopen and revoked travel bans on the 15 hardest-hit regions, including Istanbul and the capital Ankara.

On Monday, Koca said there had been 18 deaths from the Covid-19 disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide toll to 4,825. The same period saw 1,592 new infections, raising the tally of confirmed cases to nearly 180,000. The country reported its first case on 11 March. Koca tweeted that there was an increase in cases in some regions, but said the spread could be controlled if people wear masks and follow physical distancing rules.

On 1 July, cinemas, theatres and wedding halls will be back in business, while the opening hours for restaurants and cafes will be extended.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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