Turkey imposes its broadest yet lockdown for Eid al-Fitr | Coronavirus pandemic News

Turkey has imposed a four-day national blockade for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, in a move aimed at containing the spread of the new coronavirus that has killed more than 4,200 people in the country.

The curfew came into effect in Turkey's 81 provinces at midnight on Friday, the day before Eid, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

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Markets, grocery stores, greengrocers and butchers will continue to operate from 10 am to 5 pm, local time (07:00 – 14:00 GMT) from 23 May, but will be closed from 24 to 26 May. Bakeries will remain open during the four-day blockade, the largest in the country so far.

This year's Eid celebrations will be markedly limited, with people unable to attend large gatherings and banquets, or to travel to visit family and friends.

The faithful will also be unable to attend mosques, where congregational prayers have been suspended since March 16, although some will reopen gradually over the next week.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested easing restrictions after Eid, but he cautioned against harsh measures if people do not follow the rules of physical distance.

Turkey has not had a strict blockade across the country since it registered its first positive case on March 11, using curfews in some provinces.

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Critics say previous partial orders to restrict movement were poorly organized and ineffective.

Earlier this week, shopping malls, barber shops and beauty salons were allowed to reopen across the country after a nearly two-month closure.

The easing of restrictions came with greater safety and hygiene measures in force.

As of Friday, the country had recorded a total of 154,500 coronavirus cases, including 116,111 recoveries, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

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Earlier this month, the Turkish lira fell briefly to a record high against the United States dollar. how Ankara sought to mitigate the economic effect of the outbreak.

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SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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