9 lawmakers, 35 staffers at Turkish parliament test positive for COVID-19

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A total of 44 staff members and lawmakers from the Turkish parliament have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said on Thursday, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

“Five lawmakers are in the hospital, while another four are being treated at home for the coronavirus,” Şentop told reporters in Ankara.

Muhammet Emin Akbaşoğlu, a lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has been taken off a ventilator, he added. Akbaşoğlu has been in intensive care since his condition deteriorated in late July.

The parliament speaker, however, did not disclose the names of all the infected lawmakers.

Şentop also noted that 35 staff members working in parliament were carrying the virus.

“Two of the 35 staffers are in the hospital, while 32 others are at home. One tested positive on Aug. 5,” Şentop said.

Legislative work was suspended in late June for a couple of days after an increase in coronavirus cases on its premises.

Turkey has recently seen a surge in the number of new infections. New COVID-19 cases this week jumped above 1,000 for the first time in three weeks, prompting Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and other government officials to renew calls for people to strictly adhere to hygiene, social distancing and face mask rules.

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