Turkey suspends flights to 46 more countries, bans picnics

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PHOTO: AFP

Turkey expanded measures against the coronavirus on Saturday, suspending flights to 46 more countries and banning picnics and barbecues, as the number of cases has roughly doubled every day for a week, Reuters reported.

The death toll in Turkey due to the coronavirus rose to 21, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said late on Saturday, after 12 more elderly patients died of the highly contagious respiratory illness.

The number of confirmed cases in the country has surged since the first case was announced last week, reaching 947 on Saturday.

Ankara had already banned flights to 22 countries, closed schools, cafes and bars, banned community prayers and indefinitely postponed matches in its main sports leagues. The new ban applies to countries including Canada and the northern part of Cyprus.

On Saturday it extended the ban to picnics and barbecues as well as barbershops and beauty salons.

Earlier on Saturday Fenerbahçe basketball players and staff exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus were sent to a hospital for tests, the Turkish team said.

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