The USA is in the most critical phase of the pandemic to date - with half a million recorded infections
The USA is in the most critical phase of the pandemic to date - with half a million recorded infections

Carefew in Turkish cities and Italy extends Lockdown with the fear of new waves of infection on the horizon, given the slight stabilization

Late in the evening, a curfew in 31 cities in Turkey is announced for the weekend. Italy extends its curfew until the beginning of May. The USA is in the most difficult phase of the epidemic so far.

Istanbul (dpa) – The Turkish government has imposed short-term curfews in 31 cities for this weekend because of the Corona crisis.

This also affects the country’s largest city, Istanbul, the metropolis of millions, as provincial governor Ali Yerlikaya confirmed in a tweet. Details and exceptions to the curfew only gradually seeped through.

According to a tweet from the Turkish Ministry of the Interior, the capital Ankara as well as the cities of Izmir and Antalya are also affected. The ban was to apply from midnight on Saturday night until midnight on Monday night. Because the measure was announced barely two hours in advance, panic buying immediately began in Istanbul. Queues formed in supermarkets, in front of bakeries and the typical small neighbourhood shops.

The opposition mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, criticised the measure, which was communicated at short notice. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu called for calm, according to the state news agency Anadolu. He said there was no reason for panic buying, among other things, the bakeries would be open on Saturday, which would then be allowed to deliver their goods. According to Anadolu, clinics, pharmacies and institutions offering certain public services should also remain open.

Turkey has so far reported around 47,000 cases of infection. The number of fatalities had exceeded 1000 on Friday. People over 65, the chronically ill and those under 20 years of age were already subject to curfews. Schools and universities, cafés and bars have already been closed, and common prayers in mosques have been banned.

However, the Italian government is extending the strict curfew for the 60 million citizens until 3 May. This was said by head of government Giuseppe Conte on Friday evening in Rome. The measures have been in effect since 10 March and were previously in place until Easter Monday. In Italy, people are currently only allowed to leave their homes in exceptional cases, for example when they have to go to work, to the doctor or to shop. Most businesses have also been closed for weeks. The economy of the highly indebted country fears a severe recession as a result.

At the same time, Conte announced that after Easter, from 14 April, a few more shops will be allowed to open, such as book and stationery shops and the baby clothes trade. Italy is one of the countries worldwide that has been hit hardest by the Corona pandemic. Although the wave of infection has slowed down recently. Nevertheless, the civil defence reported 570 new deaths within 24 hours. A total of 18,849 infected persons have died there since the beginning of the corona virus wave in February.

Brazil is the first country in Latin America to confirm more than 1000 coronavirus deaths. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health, the number of deaths has now reached 1056, meaning that almost 20,000 infections have now been registered.

On February 26, Brazil became the first country in South and Latin America to test positive for the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen. The right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro repeatedly hit the headlines in recent weeks for playing down the danger of the virus.

In the USA, more than 2000 people died within 24 hours for the first time after infection with the corona virus. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore recorded 2108 deaths between Thursday and Friday evening (local time). This is the highest increase in deaths recorded in a single day in any country since the global pandemic began.

Calculations had predicted for the USA that the crisis could peak in mid-April in terms of deaths and that more than 2000 people could die each day after infection with the pathogen Sars-CoV-2.

US President Donald Trump had recently repeatedly sworn to the Americans that difficult days were approaching. In contrast to just a few weeks ago, Trump is now more level-headed when it comes to predicting when the country could return to normality. On Friday, he announced that he will probably present a panel of experts on Tuesday to advise him on this issue. “This is by far the biggest decision of my life,” Trump said. “I want to be led,” said Trump, who otherwise likes to present himself as a doer.

Despite the continuing high death toll per day, the situation in upstate New York gives cause for cautious hope. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that new waves of infection are on the horizon, given the slight stabilization. “I don’t want a second wave, I don’t want a third wave,” Cuomo said.


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