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Turkey aims to test 15,000 people per day for coronavirus: minister

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Turkey hopes to step up coronavirus testing to some15,000 people per day, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in an address to parliament on Thursday.

“More than 10,000 COVID-19 tests have been administered as of today,” he said.

“We believe the number of tests will increase even more. Our goal is to conduct at least 10-15,000 tests per day.”

Turkey has thus far recorded two deaths from coronavirus and a total of 191 cases.

Turkish authorities announced a series of measures to limit the spread of the virus by temporarily shutting schools and universities as well as public spaces including cinemas.

The Religious Affairs Directorate on Monday ordered the closure of around 90,000 mosques in Turkey.

Community prayers had already been suspended and the faithful were urged to pray at home.

Koca also said the ministry had obtained contact information for 372,000 people who had recently returned home from abroad.

“We are monitoring them through family doctors. We called 130,000 such individuals yesterday [Wednesday] alone to brief them,” he said.

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