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Lockdown stems virus surge in Turkey but slow vaccination raises concern

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday a nationwide lockdown would be gradually lifted as planned on May 17, though health experts urged caution amid a vaccination campaign slowed by supply hurdles.
A man walks across the deserted Eminonu Square in Istanbul on May 9, 2021, during a new lockdown aimed at fighting a surging third wave of COVID-19 infections.

ISTANBUL — Nearly two weeks into a 17-day nationwide lockdown, Turkey has seen new daily COVID-19 cases fall by more than half to under 15,000 since tight social distancing measures were imposed in late April. The restrictions, which closed most businesses and kept nonessential workers home, have led to steep declines in new infections, prompting state officials to move forward with a planned easing on May 17.

In a video message marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the start of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday the nation would gradually lift the lockdown after the festivities.

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