Curfew violations continue amid full lockdown

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People last week continued to violate Turkey’s curfew rules after the country entered a full lockdown that will last for 17 days.

Some 66,161 people broke curfew rules between April 26 and May 3, the country’s Interior Ministry said on May 3.

The ministry, however, stressed that a majority of citizens obeyed the lockdown which came into effect on the evening of April 29.

Data provided by the ministry show that the number of people who violated the weeknight curfews and weekend lockdowns stood at 42,000 between April 19 and April 26, rising from 33,000 in the previous week.

From April 5 and April 12, authorities took procedural and administrative actions against a total of 24,400 violators.

The increase in the number of people subjected to actions for violating the curfews could be related to intensified inspections nationwide in the wake of the full lockdown.

The government imposed the full lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus after the daily infections and deaths from COVID-19 climbed record highs.

During the 17-day lockdown, most businesses, except for those operating in essential industrials, will be closed while intercity travel is also banned and subjected to special permission from authorities.

The authorities are issuing special permits for employees who are exempted from the lockdown.

The Interior Ministry reported on May 3 that nearly 4 million such permission documents have been issued via the online registry system e-Devlet.

Some employees are manually filling exemption documents and security forces are carefully inspecting those permissions to see whether they are valid, the ministry said in a statement.

Police units are carrying out inspections, setting up checkpoints in and around the cities and on highways to enforce the travel ban.

The authorities are also issuing special travel exemption permits for certain emergencies.

Meanwhile, the number doses of COVID-19 injections Turkey has administered to date has surpassed 23 million.

Nearly 14 million people have received the first dose of the coronavirus jab while over 9.3 million people have been given both doses.

Turkey rolled out its vaccination program on Jan. 14. It has been using the injections developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and the Chinese pharmaceuticals company Sinovac.

The country recently signed an agreement to procure 50 million doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

“Those vaccines will be delivered to Turkey withing six months with the first shipment expected in May,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said last week.

The country aims to vaccinate everyone aged 18 and over this summer, according to Koca.

Hurriyet Daily News

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