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Turkey bans public smoking in virus mitigation effort

Turkey has been recording more than 2,000 cases of COVID-19 a day for weeks, and there are concerns the government is underreporting virus deaths.

The Turkish government on Wednesday banned public smoking in an effort to the mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The Interior Ministry banned smoking in crowded public places. The measure is designed to ensure people wear protective masks properly, Reuters reported.

Turkey has been registering more than 2,000 COVID-19 infections a day since late October. This figure appears headed toward the high of more than 5,000 cases a day in April and is well above the summer low of fewer than 1,000 a day, according to Worldometer. Turkey has a population of more than 80 million.

Some doctors in Turkey have concerns that the government is underreporting the extent of the virus.

The economic crisis in Turkey is being exacerbated by the lingering coronavirus pandemic. Recently, the Turkish lira has depreciated significantly against the US dollar.

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