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Turkey celebrates Eid al-Adha amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Turkey started to celebrate the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha amid social distancing measures against the COVID-19.

The Turkish government did not impose any further restrictions during Eid al-Adha, but officials urged the public to strictly implement social distancing rules amid concerns that social interactions during the holiday can cause a surge in the number of new coronavirus cases, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

Turkey observes the festival from July 31 to August 3. It is a Muslim tradition to sacrifice livestock to mark the occasion. Local officials delivered free disposable prayer rugs, disinfectants, masks and water to people heading to prayers in the mosques.

The country have seen a stable trend in new figures of COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks.

Turkey confirmed 982 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, while the total diagnosed cases climbed to 230,873, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

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Meanwhile, 17 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 5,691, Koca tweeted.

Turkish health professionals conducted 46,492 tests in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall number of tests to 4,800,823, he said.

A total of 996 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, raising the total recoveries to 214,535 in Turkey since the outbreak, Koca added.

The rate of pneumonia in COVID-19 patients is 8.8 per cent and the number of seriously ill patients is 582, he stated.

“There is a decrease in our pneumonia rate, but an increase in the number of newly diagnosed patients,” the minister said.

Turkey reported the first COVID-19 case on March 11.

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