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Turkey’s interior ministry announces new measures to curb COVID-19 rise

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Turkey’s interior ministry announced new measures Wednesday to curb the spread of COVID-19 as daily confirmed cases peaked back above 1,000, The Associated Press reported.

In a circular the interior ministry said its units would conduct “one-on-one monitoring” for people who have been required to self-quarantine, especially in the first seven days of isolation.

The ministry warned it would not accept any violations of the obligation to wear masks and maintain social distancing at gatherings such as weddings or circumcision ceremonies, on pain of fines and temporary closures. It said gatherings after funerals would be restricted.

To encourage precautions, businesses and transport services that meet safety requirements would be awarded a “safe space” logo after three inspections, the ministry said.

The ministry also said contact tracers would be assisted by law enforcement in urban and some rural areas, or by teachers and imams elsewhere.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu tweeted that a wide-ranging inspection would take place across Turkey on Thursday.

Latest statistics show nearly 235,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 5,765 fatalities in Turkey.

Daily cases had dropped below 1,000 before Turkey began reopening businesses in early June to prop up the economy, especially tourism, but went up to an average of 1,360 after mid-June. The cases had decreased to an average of 945 for the past three weeks but climbed back up to 1,083 on Tuesday.

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