Turkey: After virus closure, malls set to reopen

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Turkey: After virus closure, malls set to reopen

 08 May 2020 – 15:01

The full moon, also known as the Supermoon or Flower Moon, rises above the Camlica Mosque during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Istanbul, Turkey, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

ISTANBUL  – As Turkey eases measures against coronavirus, amid improving numbers, shopping malls are set to reopen their doors on Monday from a nearly two-month closure, and with stepped-up hygiene.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced this week that the country will normalize gradually during this May to July.

Numerous factories in the country will also restart production in the next week.

Shopping malls, ordered closed on March 21 to stem the spread of COVID-19, will reopen on Monday, two weeks before the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which normally spurs a spike in shopping.

Ahead of the reopening, the Council of Shopping Centers said that personnel and customers should wear masks and continue to observe social distancing rules in all malls.

Mall administrators should also use thermometers, decrease elevator capacities or limit usage, provide disinfectants, and take measures to prevent crowds, the group said in a press release.

Shops are also being told to encourage contactless payment methods.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed nearly 270,000 worldwide, with total infections surpassing 3.86 million, while recoveries passed 1.29 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

Turkey has continued to report declines in the daily death tolls and number of patients in intensive care units, while its registered recoveries reached nearly 83,000, said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Thursday.

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