President Erdogan announces restrictions, closing businesses and schools and limiting travel for nearly three weeks starting from Thursday to fight a surge in Covid-19 infections and deaths.

Tourists sit on the deserted Bosphorus banks near Emirgan district in Istanbul during a week-end curfew aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Istanbul, on April 25, 2021.
Tourists sit on the deserted Bosphorus banks near Emirgan district in Istanbul during a week-end curfew aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Istanbul, on April 25, 2021. (AFP)

Turkey's president has announced another round of strict pandemic restrictions, closing businesses and schools and limiting travel for nearly three weeks starting from Thursday to fight a surge in Covid-19 infections and deaths.

Turkey had so far instituted partial lockdowns to curb Covid-19 infections.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that all businesses will have to close down unless otherwise stated by the Interior Ministry. 

Supermarkets will remain open except on Sundays. Intercity travel will require permissions, and schools will switch to online education. 

The measures will be in place until May 17.

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Avoiding a 'heavy price'

Erdogan said that without stricter restrictions and curbing infection rates, there would be a "heavy price" for tourism, trade and education. 

He said the aim is to lower daily infections to 5,000. Confirmed daily infections on Monday stood at 37,312. 

Total daily cases in Turkey had peaked above 63,000 on April 16 before dropping sharply to below 39,000 on Sunday, while the daily death toll has remained above 300 for the past week.

Infections and deaths soared after Turkey lifted partial restrictions in March. 

The country of 83 million has recorded more than 4,6 million infections and a total 38,711 deaths.

READ MORE: Turkish university develops candidate for Covid-19 vaccine

Source: AP