Turkey has made it mandatory for people to wear face masks in public in five more provinces as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the country’s health minister said early Tuesday.

Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that wearing masks is mandatory in Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Kayseri, Rize and Sanliurfa provinces. The mask requirement is applied in 42 provinces.

Turkey has so far confirmed 179,831 COVID-19 cases. A total of 4,825 people have died and 152,364 have recovered.

The pandemic has claimed more than 436,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in Wuhan, China last December. The US, Brazil and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries.

Over 8 million cases have been reported worldwide, while more than 3.83 million people have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.