ANKARA

The head of Turkey’s main opposition party on Tuesday lambasted the government over its management of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

As the spread of the outbreak appears to have slowed down in the country after the total caseload recently surpassed the 2-million mark, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), accused authorities of failing to manage the pandemic.

Speaking to his party’s lawmakers in parliament, Kilicdaroglu said the government was “desperate” and “lacked strategy” in countering the virus, criticizing the government’s public health policies, as well as its measures to mitigate the economic effects of the disease.

“One sentence uttered by a tradesman has become historic: ‘I’ve been paying taxes to this state for 40 years, but it couldn’t take care of me for 40 days.”

“A government, that couldn’t manage to distribute five masks, already can’t rule this country,” he added, referring to an earlier government initiative to distribute face masks to households.

To face down a surge in cases over the past weeks, Turkey introduced new COVID-19 restrictions in mid-November that were heightened earlier this month into full curfews over the weekend and partial stay-home orders on weeknights.

Some sectors, including production, supply, health, and agriculture, were exempt from the curfews.

Bakeries, supermarkets, grocery stores, and butchers also operated were also allowed to operate during the measures, though under limited working hours.

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