ANKARA

If Turkey can defeat coronavirus, it will have two reasons to celebrate a month from now, Turkey’s president said on Monday.

“By overcoming COVID-19, Turkey hopes to have a double feast at the end of Ramadan,” Muslims’ holy month, with the traditional Eid al-Fitr holiday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a press conference after a Cabinet meeting by video link.

Turkey is now starting to get concrete results from its fight against the pandemic, Erdogan stressed. 

The number of new patients and the death toll fall every day, he said, adding that seeing more recoveries from the virus than new cases is an important turning point.

Erdogan also announced another extended lockdown this weekend, this one lasting three days to cover Friday’s May 1 holiday. 

It will come on the heels of a four-day lockdown weekend, which included the national April 23 holiday and the start of Ramadan last Thursday and Friday.

The curfews in 31 cities where most of Turkey’s population lives, meant to fight the virus, will likely continue through the end of Eid al-Fitr, he added.

For the holy month of Ramadan, Turkey is also evacuating 25,000 Turkish nationals from dozens of countries worldwide, adding to some 40,00 already brought back who were stuck due to the virus, Erdogan said. 

Continuing Turkey sending medical aid for the virus to countries abroad, it will send medical aid, including masks, face protectors, visors, medical-grade N95 masks, overalls, and disinfectants to the US on Tuesday, he stressed. 

Turkey has so far delivered aid to at least 57 countries around the globe to help their fight the coronavirus outbreak, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.

Also due to the pandemic, Erdogan said courthouse procedures on cases, enforcement, complaints, objections, and notification are again postponed, this time until June 15.

The coronavirus death toll in Turkey stands at 2,900, and a total of 33,791 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovering from the virus.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by a coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed more than 208,100 people, with total infections exceeding 3 million, while over 878,800 have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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