President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has suspended all mass gatherings including congregational prayers in mosques, cafes, cinemas, and sports venues to contain the spread of coronavirus.
According to Turkey’s Health Minister, Fahrettin Koca, the toll of new coronavirus cases has increased from 29 to 47 since the first positive test was announced on March 11.
All 29 people had “directly or indirectly” been in contact with the U.S., the Middle East or Europe, including three who returned from the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, Koca tweeted.
However, there has been no report of death from the COVID-19 disease as all infected persons are being isolated by the Turkish authorities.
In order to curb the spread, the government has ramped up measures to ward off an outbreak. The government has already closed schools and universities.
Thousands of pilgrims returning from Mecca in Saudi Arabia have also been quarantined.