Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under growing pressure from unions and the opposition to slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus by imposing a nationwide lockdown. Still, he insists that Turkey should “keep wheels turning” in the economy and that people continue going to work.
Minister of Health Kiril Ananiev has reversed his Monday order, which obligated citizens to wear a face mask at both indoor and outdoor public spaces. He announced that the state will buy one million masks for low-income citizens and for those who lack the financial means to buy them. The minister added that the masks to be ordered will be of the FFP2 or FFP3 type.
Ukrainian lawmakers voted on Tuesday to lift a ban on the sale of farmland that has stood for nearly two decades, news wires reported. That will clear one of the hurdles needed to unlock an $8 bn loan package from the IMF.
The tally of coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic has exceeded 3,000 as the central European country ramps up testing and keeps strict measures in place to curb the outbreak. The country of 10.7 million people has seen the highest number of cases among the EU’s eastern wing but far fewer than in western neighbours like Germany and Austria.
The mounting death toll from the virus outbreak in the United States had it poised Tuesday to overtake China’s grim toll of 3,300 deaths, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying up to 1 million more healthcare workers were needed. “Please come help us,” he urged.
Thieves stole a painting by Vincent van Gogh overnight from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands, its director said on Monday. The gallery, in the town of Laren to the east of Amsterdam, is currently shut to the public due to the coronavirus epidemic.
French health authorities reported 418 new deaths from coronavirus on Monday, taking the total to 3,024 or an increase of 16%, making France the fourth country to cross the 3,000 fatalities threshold after China, Italy and Spain.
Italian nationalist opposition League leader Matteo Salvini said, amid criticism of Hungarian PM Viktor Orban getting full powers on Monday, that it had been a democratic choice by the Hungarian parliament, ANSA reported.
Italy decided on Monday to extend an economically crippling lockdown until "at least" mid-April to stem coronavirus infections that have claimed a world-leading 11,591 lives. Business closures and a ban on public gatherings were to have expired on 3 April.