Over 80 pct of Turks call for weekend lockdown as daily COVID-19 cases hit 3,300

Over 80 percent of Turkish citizens believe in the need for nationwide or province-specific lockdown over weekends, according to a new survey by pollster Ipsos.

The survey arrives as the country’s COVID-19 outbreak continues an upward trajectory, with over 3,300 news cases and over 90 deaths daily, prompting health officials and politicians to urge lockdowns.

Eight out of every 10 people surveyed said it was necessary to reintroduce weekend lockdowns while every six out of 10 people said they knew someone who had contracted the deadly virus, Birgün newspaper cited the survey as reporting.

Turkey on Monday registered a record-breaking 3,316 new coronavirus patients over the past 24 hours, according to figures by the Health Ministry, while the death toll rose by 94 to reach 11,601.

The infections and death rates have more than tripled in the country since April, sparking concern, particularly large cities such as Istanbul, home to 60 percent of the country’s total cases.

Earlier this month, Turkey moved to curb the hours of indoor facilities, closing down sports centres, theatres and cafes at 10:00 p.m. local time across the country in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

The same indoor facilities should remain closed throughout the day, 33 percent of those surveyed by İpsos said. Only 6 percent said they were opposed to such restrictions on the venues.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board convened for a meeting on Monday, T24 news site reported. The board is expected to discuss and announce new pandemic restrictions.