Turkey closes bars, nightclubs as number of coronavirus patients rises to 18

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PHOTO: EPA

Turkey decided to temporarily close all bars, nightclubs and public libraries starting from Monday, as the country’s health minister announced the 18th case of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The Interior Ministry on Sunday ordered the closures across all 81 provinces starting 10 a.m. local time to curb spread of the infection.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that 12 more people have been diagnosed with the virus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 18.

He said that among them, two people who had contact with the first case had tested positive for the virus.

“Every detected case and every isolation is a security measure for all of us,” he noted.

After emerging in Wuhan, China, in December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 114 countries.

The global death toll from the virus has surpassed 5,700 with more than 152,000 cases confirmed worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a pandemic and Europe its epicenter.

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