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Turkey coronavirus deaths pass 100: health minister

By AFP - Mar 29,2020 - Last updated at Mar 29,2020

Officers and relatives prepare to bury a person who died from the coronavirus in Istanbul on Friday, at a cemetery opened by the government for victims of the COVID-19 pandemic (AFP photo)

ANKARA — More than 100 people have died from the novel coronavirus in Turkey, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Saturday, as 1,704 new cases were recorded.

Koca shared the latest figures on Twitter, which showed 16 more people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing the total death toll to 108.

With the new cases of COVID-19, Turkey has officially recorded 7,402 people with the virus.

Turkish officials have to date not provided details on where the cases have been recorded in the country. But they say 70 people have recovered while 445 individuals remain in intensive care.

More than 55,000 tests have been carried out in the 83-million strong country, according to the latest figures from the health ministry.

The Turkish government has stepped up measures to try to prevent the spread of the virus including cancelling international flights.

The interior ministry said that from 03:00 GMT on Sunday, passengers wishing to travel by plane would need a document to prove they had been granted permission to do so.

Those documents will be issued by an official body that will include police and airport officials.

Residents will also need permission from the governor's office where they live to travel to another city by bus.

Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi earlier tweeted that from Sunday 00:01am (21:01 GMT) there would only be domestic flights to 14 cities including Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir in the west.

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