Turkey declares full lockdown to contain spread of COVID-19

Turkey announced on Monday that it will impose a full lockdown in a bid to curb the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The lockdown will last from April 29 to May 17, with an aim to lower the daily cases below 5,000, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.

Intercity travels will be restricted to permission only, intercity public transport will operate at 50 percent capacity, while schools in all levels will suspend face-to-face education, he said.

But the manufacturing and food sectors will be exempt from the restrictions, Erdogan added.

Turkey on Monday reported 37,312 new COVID-19 cases, including 2,716 symptomatic patients, as the total number of positive cases in the country reached 4,667,281, according to its health ministry.

The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 353 to 38,711, while the total recoveries climbed to 4,121,671 after 48,027 more cases recovered in the last 24 hours.

The rate of pneumonia in COVID-19 patients stands at 2.4 percent and the number of seriously ill patients was 3,563 in the country, said the ministry.

A total of 268,893 tests were conducted over the past day, with the overall number of tests in Turkey reaching 46,153,151.

Turkey started mass vaccination against the COVID-19 on Jan. 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine. More than 13,334,000 people have been vaccinated so far.

Turkey reported its first COVID-19 case on March 11, 2020.