Turkey's Soylu says 12 towns and villages have been quarantined

"When the risk of contagion in some villages or towns is high, such a decision can be made. In total, 12 towns and villages have been quarantined," Turkey's Interior Minister told the private NTV television on Friday.

A dozen of areas were placed under quarantine across Turkey to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Friday.

"When the risk of contagion in some villages or towns is high, such a decision can be made," Soylu told the private NTV television.

"In total, 12 towns and villages have been quarantined," he said.

Soylu confirmed the lockdown in five areas in the Black Sea province of Rize after there was one coronavirus death in the region. He did not name the other areas.

The town of Kendirli and four adjoining villages were in lockdown to stem potential coronavirus cases, the provincial health directorate said in a statement.

Traffic to and from these areas was banned. People with symptoms of coughing or fever will be identified and undergo health checks in their homes.

If their situation is serious, they will be hospitalised, the statement said.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Friday the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Turkey had risen to 92, while total cases reached 5,698.

Officials have not provided a breakdown of cases by region.

As part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus, Soylu said more measures would be introduced including restrictions on inter-city buses.

Authorities have so far taken a raft of measures across the country from shutting schools and universities, suspending football games to banning mass prayers.

But they have stopped short of declaring a complete lockdown.




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