Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 23 to total 4,563 and new confirmed cases rose by 827 to bring the country’s total to 164,769, Health Ministry data showed on June 1.
“The total number of our recovering patients has approached 130,000. The number of new cases is at a predictable level. The need for ventilatory support is decreasing. The future days depends on our paying attention to hygiene and abiding by the rules of [wearing] mask and [maintaining] social distance,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter.
Cafes open and flights resume as Turkey eases up measures
Flights and car travel resumed between Turkey’s big cities on June 1 and cafes, restaurants and Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar reopened in the country’s biggest step to ease restrictions taken to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Traffic levels jumped in the commercial hub of Istanbul, with many Turks returning to work as the government sought to revive an economy hit hard by the pandemic. Employees of government offices and public facilities joined the many factory workers who restarted last month.
Masked shopkeepers opened and cleaned their stores at the Grand Bazaar, which media reports said was the scene of one of Turkey’s first virus outbreaks in March. A key tourist destination, the sprawling covered market was closed for more than two months.
Parks, gyms, beaches, libraries and museums also re-opened, but not everyone felt comfortable returning to daily life despite measures to minimize infection risks.
Turkish Airlines predicts 60 pct drop in passenger numbers
Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu sought to reassure passengers at a ceremony to mark the first regular flight from Istanbul to the capital Ankara in two months.
“We are entering a period of travel focused on isolation, from the entry into airports until the exit from them,” he said on television, adding six domestic airports had so far been certified to meet hygiene and safety standards.
International flights are expected to start next week.
Turkish Airlines said it expects a slow recovery in global demand towards the end of summer, but predicts a 60 percent drop in passenger numbers this year compared to initial expectations.