Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu tests positive for COVID-19

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said on Oct. 24 he had tested positive for coronavirus but was in good health. In a video released from the hospital, he urged everyone to pay attention to COVID-19 measures and minimize physical contact. Soon after İmamoğlu's announcement, Beşiktaş Mayor Rıza Akpolat similarly said that he was infected with the virus.

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Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu announced on Oct. 24 that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

"My COVID-19 test came out positive, my treatment process has started. My health situation is currently good, I thank everyone who have shown their care," İmamoğlu said in a video released from the hospital.

"Yesterday evening around 9 p.m. I got a fever and with a temperature of 38 degrees. I came and spent the night in hospital," İmamoğlu said, urging everyone to pay attention to COVID-19 measures and minimize physical contact.

Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş shared a message on Twitter, wishing İmamoğlu a speed recovery.

“I found out that our Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu's Twitter test came out positive. I wish him a speed recovery and hope that he recovers as soon as possible. We will overcome these hard times in solidartiy together,” Yavaş wrote.

Soon after İmamoğlu said that he was hospitalized, the mayor of Istanbul's Beşiktaş's municipality, Rıza Akpolat, similarly announced his COVID-19 test had come back positive.

"My valuable neighbors, despite having received all the precautions, I have also caught the virus. The last COVID-19 test that I took came back positive. I am in good health; we have gone under quarantine with my family," Akpolat wrote on Twitter.

İmamoğlu, from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), was elected mayor in a re-run election in June 2019 in what was at the time a blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Since then, there have been sporadic tensions between his municipality and the central government, including disputes over fundraising and measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the early stages of the outbreak. 

Turkey reported another 2,165 people with COVID-19 symptoms on Oct. 23, the highest one-day figure since May when Ankara imposed a series of restrictive measures. The death toll from the virus rose to 9,658 on Oct. 23, Health Ministry data showed.

HealthMinister Fahrettin Koca said earlier on Oct. 23 that 40 percent ofthe total cases across the country were reported in its largest cityIstanbul, where there were five times more than in the capitalAnkara.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with local officials in five provinces in northwest Turkey, Koca said there had been a risky spike in the COVID-19 case numbers, and the second peak is underway in some cities.

Coronavirus outbreak on the rise again, Ankara 'considering preventative measures'Coronavirus outbreak on the rise again, Ankara 'considering preventative measures'