Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu urged against panic buying saying the lockdown will end on Sunday midnight.

Following the two-day curfew announcement by Turkey's Interior Ministry in 31 cities to fight against Covid-19 pandemic, calm has set in Izmir.
Following the two-day curfew announcement by Turkey's Interior Ministry in 31 cities to fight against Covid-19 pandemic, calm has set in Izmir. (Yusuf Sahbaz / AA)

Turkey's two-day curfew in 31 provinces took effect at midnight on Friday (2100 GMT) to stem the spread of novel coronavirus.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu made the announcement late on Friday and said it would affect the provinces of Ankara, Adana, Antalya, Aydin, Balikesir, Bursa, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Ordu, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Tekirdag, Trabzon, Van and Zonguldak.

People were seen rushing into supermarkets and bakeries hours before the curfew.

People are waiting in the line to buy their essential needs before the curfew takes effect in Istanbul under police supervision.
People are waiting in the line to buy their essential needs before the curfew takes effect in Istanbul under police supervision. (Arif Hudaverdi Yaman / AA)

A circular on the issue was sent to governorships that said bakeries, hospitals, pharmacies and workplaces producing health and medical supplies would continue to operate.

The curfew would not be applicable to those carrying out burial procedures for first-degree-relatives and anyone who have an appointment for blood and plasma donation with the Turkish Red Crescent.

Soylu advised residents to remain calm and urged against panic buying, saying the curfew would end at midnight on Sunday.

“This is not a normal curfew,” and is one of the measures taken to stem the spread of the virus, he said.

Communications Director Fahrettin Altun urged compliance and said everyone should follow social distancing guidelines.

Turkey confirmed 98 more deaths from the virus on Friday, bringing the total death toll to 1,006.

The number of confirmed cases surged to 47,029 with 2,423 patients recovering and discharged from hospitals.

After originating in China in December, the virus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions with its epicenter shifting to Europe.

The pandemic has killed more than 102,00 people, and infected an excess of 1.68 million, while nearly 375,000 patients have recovered, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Source: AA