Turkey’s COVID curfew fails to contain surging second wave

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Coronavirus deaths in Turkey rose to a record for the seventh consecutive day on Sunday and the number of new cases remained high despite efforts by President Tayyip Erdogan’s government to contain a second wave of infections.

Turkey is expected to report this week that its economy bounced back from a sharp coronavirus-induced slump earlier this year. But that recovery, key to Erdogan’s sustained political support, could be threatened by the new outbreak.

The government introduced tighter measures a week ago including nightly curfews at weekends, restrictions on movements of people of non-working age, a move to online schooling and limiting restaurants and cafes to takeaway services.

However the moves have done little to halt a remorseless rise in cases and fatalities, with Sunday’s toll of 185 dead 45% above the peak of the first wave in April, and the number of new cases behind only the United States, India and Brazil – all countries with far larger populations than Turkey.