Meetings and demonstrations of any kind have been banned in the Turkish capital, Ankara, due to a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
The Ankara governorate said in a statement on Thursday that in addition to other imposed restrictions, it is also compulsory to wear masks in public.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca warned a day earlier that cases were on the rise in Ankara.
The number of infections in the country has exceeded 200,000, of which 175,000 have so far recovered from the disease; and its coronavirus death toll rose to 5,150, with 19 new deaths reported in the past 24 hours.
Medical professionals have carried out more than 52,000 tests for the disease since Monday, bringing the total number above 3.43 million.
Nearly 54% of all COVID-19 patients in the country are in metropolitan Istanbul, Koca said. He noted that there had been a downward trend in the average age of COVID-19 cases over the past month, with most cases occurring between the ages of 25 and 45.
Koca pointed out that the idea that the virus had weakened and its spread had slowed was misleading and lacked scientific evidence. “Anyone who is aware of the COVID-19 pandemic and follows the rules is a life-saving hero under the current conditions,” he added.