Turkey Sees Spike in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths

The death toll from complications arising from the coronavirus rose by 15 to 59 in Turkey, as the number of recorded COVID-19 infections surged to 2,433, Health Minister Koca said on Wednesday.

Within the past 24 hours, 5,035 tests were carried out and 561 new cases were registered. So far, 30,000 tests have been carried out in the country.

Koca said earlier on March 25 that 26 patients had recovered from the illness, and warned that the virus did not only attack the elderly.

"The number of middle-aged patients is not small. The virus does not distinguish between the young, old and middle-aged," he said, urging all citizens to stay at home.

Turkey recorded its first case of the coronavirus on March 11. Since then, the numbers of cases has soared, as has the death toll.

The virus has spread rapidly even though the government applied measures at the beginning of the outbreak, including quarantine for people who had travelled abroad and the closure of schools.

Some experts warn that Turkey might be a "second Italy" in terms of the number of cases and deaths if tougher measures are not taken. Critics say the current measures do not go far enough and that a curfew and testing as much as possible should be applied. Turkish citizens must be made to stay at home in order to stop the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

However, Turkish officials have dismissed the call for enforced mass isolation. "Every citizen should declare his or her own state of emergency," Koca said at a press conference on March 24.

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