Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on June 25 once again urged citizens not to flout measures in place to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the country registered 1,458 new cases and 21 new fatalities in the last 24 hours.
“The number of new cases shows that precautions are decreasing. The number of cases in the world is on the rise. Let’s give some good news from Turkey,” Koca wrote on Twitter.
“There is an increase in our number of intensive care patients. However, the duration our patients spend in intensive care and under treatment has come down considerably,” he also said.
With the latest figures, the total number of COVID-19 cases nationwide reached 193,115 and the death toll from the virus rose to 5,046.
Some 941 patients remain in intensive care, Koca said.
Health care professionals conducted 52,303 tests for the disease in the past day, raising the total count to over 3.13 million.
Koca has repeatedly stressed the importance of maintaining social distance and the wearing of face masks at all times outside, which became mandatory in several provinces across the country.
Turkey has recently seen an upward trend in the daily number of virus infections after the government authorized cafes, restaurants, gyms, parks, beaches and museums to reopen, lifted inter-city travel restrictions and eased stay-at-home orders for the elderly and young on June 1.
The daily number of cases climbed to around 1,500 last week after hovering around 800-900 previously. After this spike in infection figures, authorities made the wearing of masks compulsory in several more provinces, including Istanbul and the capital Ankara.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on June 20 Turkey had lost some ground in its battle with the coronavirus but a focus on hygiene, masks and social distancing will protect people and help the economy rebound in the second half of the year.
“The numbers in recent days show that we have lost our position in the fight against the epidemic,” Erdoğan said in a televised address. “But we aim to remove the pandemic from our agenda by respecting the cleaning, mask and distance rules.”