Turkey’s senior citizens allowed out for second Sunday


People walk on Istiklal street, the main shopping street in Istanbul, a few hours before the weekend lockdown due to the coronavirus, Friday, May 15, 2020. Teenagers were able to leave their homes for the first time in 42 days on Friday, as their turn came for a few hours of respite from Turkey’s coronavirus lockdowns. Turkey has subjected people aged 65 and over and those younger than 20, to a curfew for the past several weeks. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

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ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s senior citizens were allowed to leave their homes for a second Sunday as the country continues to ease some coronavirus restrictions.

People above 65 —the age group most at risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms— could spend six hours outside on Sunday, but their lockdown on other days continues. The health minister urged them to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Turkey has instituted partial lockdowns with people above 65 and under 20, who are ordered to stay at home. The measure towards senior citizens came into force on March 21 and were relaxed for the first time last week.

Fifteen provinces, including Istanbul, are on the second day of a four-day lockdown. Senior citizens in crowded cities had the streets and parks to themselves.

Children and teenagers were also allowed out this week on different days for several hours.

The latest statistics by the health ministry show 44 new deaths from the coronavirus and 1,368 new infections, bringing the total death toll to 4,140 and cases to 149,435.

Turkey ranks ninth in the world for number of confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data, although experts believe the tally around the world is higher than reported.

Nearly 110,000 people have recovered from the disease in Turkey, the health ministry statistics show.


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