Turkey coronavirus deaths pass 100 as lockdown intensifies

Turkey coronavirus deaths pass 100 as lockdown intensifies
Turkey's confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 7,402 people as a dozen towns and villages have been quarantined and international flights have been stopped.
2 min read
29 March, 2020
Turkey has stopped international flights over Covid-19 [Getty]
More than 100 people have died from the novel coronavirus in Turkey, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Saturday, as 1,704 new cases were recorded.

Koca shared the latest figures on Twitter, which showed 16 more people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing the total death toll to 108. 

With the new cases of Covid-19, Turkey has officially recorded 7,402 people with the virus.

Turkish officials have to date not provided details on where the cases have been recorded in the country. But they say 70 people have recovered while 445 individuals remain in intensive care.

More than 55,000 tests have been carried out in the 83-million strong country, according to the latest figures from the health ministry.

The Turkish government has stepped up measures to try to prevent the spread of the virus including cancelling international flights.

The interior ministry said that from 0300 GMT on Sunday, passengers wishing to travel by plane would need a document to prove they had been granted permission to do so.

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Those documents will be issued by an official body that will include police and airport officials.

Residents will also need permission from the governor's office where they live to travel to another city by bus.

Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi earlier tweeted that from Sunday 00:01am (2101 GMT) there would only be domestic flights to 14 cities including Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir in the west.

A dozen towns and villages, including five in the Black Sea province of Rize, have been placed under quarantine across the country, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Friday.

Read more: Coronavirus: British couple self-isolating in camper van in Turkey car park

Turkish authorities have also evacuated thousands of migrants waiting to cross into Greece away from the border, as a precaution amid the pandemic.

Thousands of migrants had gathered at the border crossing into Europe after Erdogan announced in February that Turkey would no longer prevent refugees and migrants wishing to travel to the EU.

However the influx of people was met with a violent pushback from Greek security forces and far-right mobs, while refugee camps in the Greek islands nearest Turkey, which are severely overcrowded and underresourced, fear a catastrophic spread of Covid-19.

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