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Infectious diseases continue to rise in Turkey amid weakening measures

ISTANBUL (AP) – Turkey’s weekly regional COVID-19 index continues to rise as the country continues to maintain mild restrictions.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Health late last night show that the infection rate is more than 251 cases per 100,000 in Istanbul, the country’s largest city, 41% more than last week. This means that there are about 40,000 new infections in Istanbul alone, which is four times the number released for the first time six weeks ago.

The government divided its 81 provinces into four risk categories and said it would assess local restrictions every two weeks. Recent data show that many cities are becoming “very high risk” or “high risk”.

The Turkish president announced this week that mild restrictions, such as restaurant dinners and curfews, would continue “for some time” despite growing infections, but said tougher measures could be returned.

According to measures announced in early March, weekend curfews were maintained in “very high-risk” cities, and on Sundays blockades continued in “high-risk” cities. Restaurants are open և for open meals in all categories except ‘very high risk’ և night curfews apply throughout the country.

The average number of infected people in the country for seven days has risen to more than 18,000, hitting the latest daily rates seen in December. The number of critically ill and dying patients is increasing. The total death toll in Turkey is 29,959.

The government, which is facing an economic downturn, has come under pressure from business owners to resume operations during the epidemic.

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