Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced late on March 21st that the number of deaths from coronavirus had risen to 21 and the number of confirmed cases to 947 in Turkey. He said that the additional twelve deaths were of elderly patients. The minister added that 2,953 tests had been conducted in the past 24 hours, 277 of which came back positive.
Turkey has also today imposed a partial curfew for citizens older than 65 years of age and for those with chronic diseases effective as of midnight. These elderly and chronically sick citizens are now restricted to their homes and are no longer even permitted to walk in open areas such as parks and gardens.
Turkey has also extended measures against the coronavirus by suspending flights with 46 more countries, banning picnics and barbecues, and closing barbershops, women’s hairdressers and beauty salons. Turkey had already banned flights with 22 countries, closed schools, universities, cafes and bars, banned mass prayers and indefinitely postponed matches in its main sports leagues. The additional 46 countries with which Turkey has banned passenger flights are as follows: Mauritania, Algeria, Sudan, Angola, Philippines, Moldova, Montenegro, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Tunisia, Poland, Portugal, Oman, Uzbekistan, North Macedonia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Mongolia, Cameroon, Taiwan, Canada, Slovenia, Chad, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Czechia, Morocco, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Nepal, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, Niger, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia and Lebanon.
The Turkish health ministry announced that all hospitals, including private ones, will have to admit and treat suspected patients of new coronavirus. The ministry also declared any hospital with at least two specialists in infectious diseases, pulmonology or internal diseases as a coronavirus pandemic hospital in order to ease the burden on health institutions and personnel.
The government further announced that all meetings and activities, related to science, culture and art would be postponed until the end of April.
Hotels and other accommodation facilities must now get detailed information as to where their guests recently travelled to and as to their future travel plans.
In restaurants, to reduce the risk of infection, tables must be set at least one metre apart.
If nursing home and elderly care centre residents show symptoms consistent with coronavirus, all the residents must be closely monitored.