Thu, 22 Apr 2021

ISTANBUL, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Turkey introduced Friday a series of drastic measures in several provinces where the number of the COVID-19 daily cases are significantly on the rise.

Local authorities in the northwestern Sakarya province banned all the activities of sports facilities for 15 days, starting from March 1, the CNN Turk broadcaster said.

Weddings, engagements, and all the related ceremonies would be also halted until March 15 across the province, some 150 kilometers to Turkey's biggest city Istanbul, it added.

In Bodrum, one of the most popular international tourist destinations in the southwestern province of Mugla, picnic activities were forbidden in beaches, parks, and other recreation areas.

Following the announcement, video footage of media outlets showed security officials cordoning off such locations.

In the eastern Black Sea province of Rize, the gatherings of two or more people, and all the activities that violate the social distancing rule were prohibited.

Rize recorded 200 coronavirus infections out of 100,000 during Feb. 15 and Feb. 21, according to the latest data published on the health ministry's website.

In the meantime, in another Black Sea province of Tokat, wedding ceremonies and marriages were postponed while sports halls and livestock markets were closed for at least 10 days. The number of daily cases went up to 149 last week across the province, up from 119.

In the Ipsala district of Turkey's northwestern province of Edirne, bordering Greece, citizens were also warned not to carry out activities such as home visits. Open-air bazaars will not be established in the district.

Similar restrictions were also imposed in several other provinces, according to press reports.

Turkey had started to release provincial data of COVID-19 cases weekly as of Feb. 15, saying that restrictions would be lifted at provincial levels starting from March 1.

Speaking after Friday prayers in Istanbul Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will announce the new decisions following a cabinet meeting on March 1.

Currently, the country applies full weekend lockdowns and night curfews on weekdays.

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