Four-day curfew imposed in 15 Turkish provinces amid heat wave

A comprehensive curfew came into force in 15 Turkish provinces on midnight Friday, in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, news wires reported. The measures will last four days until midnight Tuesday, a public holiday in the country.

During this time, pharmacies, doctors' clinics, bakeries and other so-called "essential services" are allowed to remain open. On Monday and Tuesday people will be allowed to do some shopping.

The curfew applies to fewer cities and provinces compared to the previous curfews on weekends and long weekends, which first saw 31 and then 24 cities and provinces almost shut down.

Capital city Ankara and the heavily-populated Istanbul are still included. For people over 65 years old or the chronically ill, a complete ban on going out applies. However they are now allowed to leave the house again for a few hours on fixed days.

The four-day curfew will pose an additional challenge this time, as a heat wave arriving from Northern Africa increased temperatures across the country by 6 to 10 degrees Celsius above seasonal standards.

The country's state-run meteorology agency announced that the heat wave is expected to come into full effect during the weekend, with temperatures in Istanbul expected to reach 35 degrees Celsius, while northwestern province of Bursa will boil under temperatures hitting 42 degrees Celsius.

While people across the country wonder how to cool themselves off, experts warn that air conditioning units could spread the virus and cause further infections.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reported on Friday evening that around 146,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus so far. About 4,050 people have died.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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