Turkey said on Wednesday reports on the government’s plans for new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 are “unfounded”.
Earlier in the day, Reuters reported that the government was considering measures including weekend lockdowns following a continued rise in the number of infections.
However, Deputy Interior Minister İsmail Çataklı dismissed the claims.
“Everyone should disregard fake circulars, anonymous sources and manipulative reports,” he said on Twitter, referencing Reuters.
Bugün Reuters kaynaklı “Türkiye’de sokağa çıkma yasakları gelebilir” haberi tamamen asılsızdır.
Daha önce de söylediğimiz gibi sahte genelgelere, isimsiz kaynaklara ve manipülatif haberlere itibar edilmemelidir.
— İsmail ÇATAKLI (@ismailcatakli) October 21, 2020
In July, the Health Ministry changed the way it reported COVID-19 infections, excluding asymptomatic cases, and including only those deemed patients.
The move lead to accusations the government ministry seeking to conceal the true extent of the pandemic in Turkey.
“It appears the number of cases is around five times the number of patients. If this trend goes higher of course some measures will be taken,” Reuters cited an anonymous senior health official as saying.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has repeatedly criticised the handling of the public health crisis, recently warning of mass resignations of healthcare workers unless if current conditions persisted.
But the government has thus far proven reluctant to impose restrictions on an already fragile economy.
Daily data released by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday said there had been 2,103 new COVID-19 patients and 68 deaths from the disease.