Turkey to gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions from March

A total of 117,121 tests were conducted over the past day, raising the overall number of tests in Turkey to 31,866,086.

Turkey will gradually lift restrictions against COVID-19 on the provincial levels from March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

“We will start the normalization process as the beginning of March by dividing our provinces into four groups,” Erdogan said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.

The government will lift the restrictions gradually according to the number of cases, vaccination and other relevant criteria in the provinces, he added.

But the numbers of daily coronavirus cases should also be declining in order to take a step toward lifting restrictions in these provinces, Erdogan noted.

Turkey on Wednesday reported 7,325 new COVID-19 cases, including 649 symptomatic patients, taking the total number of positive cases in the country to 2,609,359.

The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 86 to 27,738, while the total recoveries climbed to 2,496,833 after 7,209 more cases recovered in the last 24 hours, according to Turkish Health Ministry.

The rate of pneumonia in COVID-19 patients in Turkey stands at 3.6 percent and the number of seriously ill patients was 1,193, said the ministry.

A total of 117,121 tests were conducted over the past day, raising the overall number of tests in Turkey to 31,866,086.

Turkey started mass COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine. More than 4,873,000 people have been vaccinated so far.