Turkey experiences alarming rise of COVID cases in black sea provinces

A medical worker of the Bakirkoy District Health Directorate wearing a protective suit takes a swab sample from Mustafa Unlu during an antibody testing program following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish health ministry statistics show a significant increase in coronavirus cases in Turkey’s largest cities and alarming rates in Black Sea provinces.

A weekly, provincial map of infections shared by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca showed more than 111 positive cases identified in Istanbul per 100,000 people in the past week. That rate was about 60 the week of Feb. 6. Cases in Ankara and Izmir were also on the rise.

This week, Istanbul was categorized as a “high risk” city for COVID-19. Restaurants and cafes have re-opened and weekend lockdowns were reduced to only Sundays except for “very high-risk” cities. Istanbul residents filled the streets and restaurants, many ignoring mask and social distancing rules.

Northeastern provinces along the Black Sea have been categorized as “very high-risk,” where restrictions continue. The seven-day average of cases across the country rose back above 10,000 this week, bringing the total number of cases to more than 2.7 million and the confirmed death toll to 28,901.

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