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Government scrambles to contain coronavirus as Turkish cases triple

The Turkish authorities introduced sweeping measures to ensure social distancing in Turkey as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, while still comparatively low, rose sharply overnight to 18.
A worker in a protective suit disinfects the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Umit Bektas     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC2UJF9MI9KO

ISTANBUL — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Turkey tripled overnight to 18 on Monday, and the government ushered in a slate of restrictions to curb the spread of the pandemic that has enveloped much of the world.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted overnight that Turkey had 12 more cases of the novel coronavirus, including seven people who had traveled from European countries and three from the United States. At least six people have been infected by a man coming from Europe who had the country’s first diagnosis less than a week ago.

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