Turkish Labor, Social Services and Family Ministry on Friday announced visitors will not be allowed in retirement and nursing homes across the country on Mother’s Day, and also during the traditional Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In a written statement, the ministry said apart from nursing homes, disability care centers and rehabilitation centers will also not allow any visitors on Mother’s Day and Eid.

As the novel coronavirus continues to affect thousands of people, especially the elderly, across the world, the ministry’s measure aims to help curb the spread of the virus in the country.

The ministry advised against sending gifts or flowers to these institutions as any kind of exposure may risk the lives of the residents at the institutions.

Mother’s Day will be celebrated this Sunday and the Eid holiday from May 24-26.

The virus officially known as COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 187 countries and territories. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The global death toll from the pandemic nears 270,000, with total infections over 3.86 million, while recoveries have passed 1.29 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

Turkey currently has 133,721 confirmed cases, and the death toll stands at 3,641.

* Writing by Merve Aydogan

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