Turkey's COVID-19 death toll 340 as lockdown sets in

Reuters , Sunday 2 May 2021

Erdogan's government reversed course as infections surged to record highs. Turkey had a record 394 virus-related deaths on Friday, though new cases have dropped since April 21

Turkey
Police officers check passengers' documents in Golbasi before they enter the city center in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, May 1, 2021 AP

Turkey logged 340 coronavirus-related deaths and 25,980 new cases in the last 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed on Sunday, the third day of a nationwide lockdown, including curfews, closed schools and many shuttered businesses.

Turkey ranks fourth globally in daily cases based on a seven-day average, according to a Reuters tally, down from second briefly last month.

After easing measures in early March, President Tayyip Erdogan's government reversed course as infections surged to record highs. Turkey had a record 394 virus-related deaths on Friday, though new cases have dropped since April 21.

Erdogan and other government officials faced criticism in February and March for a holding party congress with thousands crowded indoors and also for attending a funeral, after which Health Minister Fahrettin Koca apologised.

According to state broadcaster TRT, Erdogan attended another funeral on Sunday for a mayor's father who died after a coronavirus infection. Video footage showed him surrounded by dozens of people with masks outside an Istanbul mosque, prompting criticism on social media.

Under rules of the 17-day lockdown, funerals are to be held with fewer than 10 people who keep social distance. 

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