Turkey COVID Cases Below 20,000 for First Time Since Mid-March

ISTANBUL— Turkey’s daily COVID-19 infections have dropped to levels last seen in mid-March as the country nears two weeks in its strictest restrictions.

Heath Ministry statistics showed 15,191 new infections Sunday and 283 deaths. Confirmed cases averaged around 60,000 per day during the peak week mid-April. More than 43,000 people have died in the pandemic.

The Turkish government introduced a full lockdown from April 29 until May 17, ordering people to stay home and closing down businesses and schools. Millions of people who work in jobs deemed essential — like factories, hospitals and the tourism sector — are exempt. Foreign tourists are also exempt.

Turkey’s president said the lockdown aims to bring daily infections below 5,000 and for tourists to come.

France and the United Kingdom recently introduced mandatory quarantines for travelers returning from Turkey. The British government told fans not to travel to Istanbul for the Chelsea- Manchester United Champions League final on May 29 and has offered to have Wembley Stadium in London host the game.


NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden promised to distribute hundreds of millions of free COVID-19 tests and to open more testing sites to fight surging infections, but the stepped-up efforts will not come in time for people who want to find out if they are infected before the holidays.

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