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Weddings on boats, outdoor concerts, festivals banned in Istanbul to curb COVID-19

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-12 16:45
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People visit Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, July 26, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

ISTANBUL -- Turkey's biggest city Istanbul on Saturday banned weddings and related ceremonies on boats on the Bosphorus Strait as well as suspended all outdoor concerts and festivals over rising COVID-19 cases.

The Istanbul governor's office said in a statement that the decision was taken to better manage the risk of the pandemic by ensuring social isolation and maintaining the physical distance.

The marine tourism vehicles are functioning on the strait flowing in between the European and Asian parts of the city for all kinds of entertainment and tourism purposes.

Earlier in the day, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca urged Istanbul residents to follow the COVID-19 related rules strictly, saying the number of infected patients on Sept 11 was almost twice the figure of cases last month.

Koca announced from his Twitter account that the number of patients who are in critical condition has increased by 42 percent in the city during August.

"Today, we raised the number of our filiation teams by 34 percent. Let's follow the measures together," he also noted.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya had earlier said that a total of 642 units have been patrolling the city with a population of over 16 million to detect COVID-19 infections rapidly.

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