Turkey extends quarantine of thousands returning from Mecca after some test positive for COVID-19

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Turkish officials have decided to postpone the release of some 5,000 people who were put in quarantine upon returning from Umrah in Saudi Arabia after some of them were diagnosed with COVID-19, the Diken news website reported on Sunday.

On March 15 they were quarantined in university dormitories in Ankara and Konya upon returning from their Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. The issue had caused nationwide controversy after some of them tried to avoid quarantine.

The returnees were expected to be released to their homes on Sunday as the quarantine was originally foreseen to last for two weeks.

Some of them have been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, the report said.

Turkey has more than 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus.

Some 750,000 people have been infected globally and more than 36,000 have died.

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