The number of coronavirus cases in the Turkish metropolitan city of Istanbul has surged 50% last week, Turkey’s health minister warned on Monday.

“The rise of [COVID-19 cases in Istanbul’s] 28 districts is over 50% in the past week compared to the average of the last month,” Fahrettin Koca told reporters after meeting with Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya and district mayors.

“The increase rate is 50-60% in 11 districts, 60-70% in 10 districts, and 70-80% in seven districts,” he said.

Koca reiterated that the infections in Istanbul comprise 40% of total cases in Turkey, which, he said, is at least two times more concerning compared to the country average.

Turkey aims to prevent rush hours for workers and civil servants who are taking the risk every morning and evening while going to and returning from work, he said.

Providing additional runs to bus, metrobus, and tram lines was also discussed at the meeting, he noted.

Those, who can work remotely, should be offered to do so, he suggested.

“Unfortunately, we could not continue the success we have shown for a long time,” Koca said. “The point we have reached requires us to be more prescriptive and disciplined,” the minister added.

On Sunday, Turkey registered 2,017 new coronavirus patients and the country’s overall tally now stands at 361,801, the ministry said.

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