Minister says Turkey should implement concrete measures to slow Covid spread

The country reported 3,316 more cases of the virus on Monday, as well as 94 deaths

Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca speaks to the media after visiting children in a hospital in Izmir, Turkey, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. The children were rescued from the rubble of a buildings in Izmir after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit on Monday. The powerful earthquake killed more than 100 people and injured more than 1000 others. (Turkey Health Ministry via AP)
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Turkey's advisory science board has recommended that the government should implement concrete measures to slow the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the country, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Monday.

In its daily updates, Turkey only announces the daily number of symptomatic cases. There were 3,316 new cases on Monday, as well as 94 deaths, both around the levels last seen in April, when a partial lockdown and other measures were in place.

The board discussed preventative measures, and said that the main cause of the spread was people moving around and being in crowded spaces, Mr Koca said in a statement.

"It was decided to recommend that concrete measures that prevent the spread of the disease are implemented," he said.

While the statement hinted at stricter controls, Mr Koca did not say what specific measures the board had recommended.

The board also specifically discussed provinces where the level of transmission was high, he said.

The science board does not have the authority to implement measures but makes recommendations to President Tayyip Erdogan's government on what steps should be taken.

Istanbul's mayor called on Saturday for a lockdown of at least two weeks to contain a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, and said virus-related deaths in the city alone outstripped reported nationwide figures.

Turkey's pandemic peaked in mid-April and infections were last at current levels later that month, when a nationwide partial lockdown was in place.

This month the government ordered all businesses to close by 10 pm and narrowed the hours when those aged 65 and older were allowed to leave home in some province, including Ankara and Istanbul.