New coronavirus measures announced by Turkey’s interior ministry encourage building managers and neighbors to notify authorities upon seeing any indoor gatherings such as religious ceremonies, the Milliyet daily reported on Wednesday.
Attendees at Muslim memorial services for the dead, events to celebrate the birth of a child, New Year’s Eve gatherings and visits to people in the same building will incur fines of 3,150 Turkish lira per person.
Milliyet’s report also mentions that public sanitation boards are authorized to issue restrictions on the number of people allowed in the streets of heavily populated areas.
After the announcement of the measures, a district sanitation board in İstanbul restricted the number of people who can use İstiklal Avenue, a pedestrian street 1.4 kilometers (0.87 miles) long, to a maximum of 7,000 at one time.
The board came up with the number by calculating the minimum social distancing requirements — one person per three square meters — and said law enforcement would oversee the implementation of the ban.
The official daily COVID-19 deaths have been steadily rising to record numbers in Turkey, reaching 30,110 on Tuesday with 190 new deaths.
However, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı claimed on Tuesday that the real daily coronavirus case number in Turkey is around 60,000, twice the official figure.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has attracted widespread criticism for previously hiding the true scale of the coronavirus pandemic in Turkey after he announced for the first time the daily number of COVID-19 infections in the country on November 25.
The ministry previously had announced the daily number of coronavirus “patients,” meaning the number of people with symptoms who had to be hospitalized. The ministry excluded people who tested positive for COVID-19 but exhibited no symptoms.