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UPDATE 1-Turkish panel to recommend stricter COVID-19 measures - minister

Mon 12th April, 2021 8:58pm
(Adds quote, details, background)
    ISTANBUL, April 12 (Reuters) - A panel of scientists
advising Turkey's government on tackling the coronavirus
pandemic will recommend a series of tougher measures to combat a
"third peak" of the disease, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said
on Monday.
    Koca did not provide details on the new measures but said a
period of limitations on mobility and close contact was
necessary to stem the spread of the virus, adding that more
contagious variants were now dominant in Turkey.
    "The Coronavirus Science Council has prepared a
comprehensive set of measures with alternatives. We will present
these recommendations to the cabinet on Tuesday," he told a news
    "This is the third peak (of COVID-19) in Turkey, and the
fourth in Istanbul," Koca added.
    Turkey announced on March 29 weekend lockdowns and
restrictions for restaurants and cafes during the holy Muslim
fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on April 13.
    A senior government official earlier told Reuters that
President Tayyip Erdogan was likely to order a tightening of
restrictions this week ahead of the vital tourism season.*:nL8N2M52EC
    Turkey ranks fourth globally in new case numbers, which hit
nearly 56,000 on Saturday - a five-fold jump from early March,
when Erdogan loosened social curbs in what he called a period of
"controlled normalisation".
    Turkey, with a total population of nearly 84 million, has
carried out around 19 million vaccinations, including 11.31
million first doses, since Jan. 14, when it began the nationwide
inoculation campaign.
    Further shipments of coronavirus vaccines from China's
Sinovac Biotech  SVA.O  and Pfizer  PFE.N  and BioNTech
 22UAy.DE  are expected to be delivered in the coming months,
Koca said.

 (Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun and Ece Toksabay
Editing by Gareth Jones)
 ((; +90-212-350 7051; Reuters
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