Turkey Announces 37 Coronavirus Deaths, Orders Clampdown
A municipal employee in Istanbul disinfects a city bus on March 22. (Onur Dogman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Turkey Announces 37 Coronavirus Deaths, Orders Clampdown

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca says the country’s death toll from coronavirus as of Tuesday morning is 37, with 1,529 confirmed cases. On Monday night, he announced that 32,000 additional healthcare workers would be hired and prohibited the export of surgical masks. The Interior Ministry, meanwhile, has limited the operating hours of supermarkets and grocery stores to 12 hours, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., ordering that customers be limited at any given time to one for every 10 square meters of space. The ministry also ordered public transportation to limit passengers on intercity routes to 50% capacity, with proper space between them. The country has already closed schools and places of entertainment, while limiting attendance at public prayer. Koca said that 24,000 tests for coronavirus had already been conducted, with plans for 1 million, with testing kits having been ordered from China. The country’s business watchdog complained of price gouging, particularly on fresh vegetables and fruits, adding that harsh fines would be imposed.

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