The number of Turkey’s COVID-19 cases remains at the “anticipated level,” while the number of patients who need respiratory support continues to drop, according to Turkey’s top health authority on Sunday.
The number of patients who recovered from the disease reached almost 128,000 as 989 more were discharged from hospitals over the past day, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, sharing the latest official coronavirus figures.
Turkey reported a total of 839 new cases, bringing the infection tally to 163,942, Koca added.
The death toll from pandemic rose to 4,540 as the country reported 25 new fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to the data from the Health Ministry.
A total of 648 patients are being treated in intensive care due to COVID-19, the figures showed.
Koca reiterated the importance of hand hygiene, wearing masks and keeping social distance.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced that quarantine has been lifted in 428 settlements across 64 provinces of Turkey.
As of today, the 15 worst-hit provinces came out of one last curfew with weekend stay-at-home orders being abandoned for the time being.
All intercity travel restrictions were lifted as well, with only citizens aged 65 and above being required to obtain a special permit for travel, as they are still under a curfew due to being the highest at-risk group.
Restaurants, cafes, gyms, parks, beaches, museums, day care centres and libraries were also allowed to open their doors after a nearly two-month closure.
The green light to reopen many public places was the latest phase of Ankara’s plan to return life to normal.
The government previously ordered barbers, beauty salons and shopping malls to reopen with limited capacity.
Friday also saw the faithful returning to mosques for communal prayers after prayers at mosques were banned on March 16.
While Turkey has so far avoided a second wave of the outbreak with figures indicating the downward trend in new cases will continue, experts warned that the new easing of measures could lead to resurgence if citizens get lax on following official advisories.