Turkey makes face masks compulsory in 42 provinces: minister

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Turkey has made the wearing of face masks mandatory in five more provinces, following an uptick in COVID-19 cases, The Associated Press reported.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted early Tuesday that the wearing of masks is now compulsory in 42 of Turkey’s 81 provinces.

In the remaining provinces residents are required to wear masks on public transportation and in shops and malls and are being advised to wear masks and keep to social distancing practices elsewhere.

Koca tweeted, “We can’t successfully fight the virus without masks.”

Turkey is seeing an upward trend in the daily number of infections after the government authorized cafes, restaurants, gyms, parks, beaches and museums to reopen, lifted inter-city travel restrictions and eased stay-at-home orders for the elderly and young at the start of June.

The daily number of infections climbed to above 1,500 in the past five days after hovering at around 800-900 previously. The country has registered a total of 179,831 cases and 4,825 deaths.

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