Turkey has extended its quarantine this coming weekend, even including a national holiday on April 23, to curb the spread of the coronavirus as daily infections and deaths from COVID-19 are at record levels.

The nationwide quarantine will operate from 7 p.m. April 22 to 5 a.m. April 26, according to a circular from the country’s Interior Ministry.

There will be no large gatherings for National Sovereignty and Children’s Day other than an official wreath-laying ceremony, Hurriyet reported.

Instead, some celebrations and events will take place online.

During the extended weekend lockdown, major businesses such as grocery stores, bakeries, butchers and greengrocers will be open from 10am to 5pm.

Since last week, the number of daily coronavirus cases in Turkey has hovered around 60,000 or more, and the number of deaths due to the outbreak is growing every day, the article notes.

The COVID-19 positive test rate rose to 19.44% on April 21 from 6.47% on February 21, said Professor Sema Kultufan Turan of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Health.

“There are a number of reasons for this, but the main reason is the strains of the virus that have spread among the population. People’s mobility also increased during this period, and this was another reason, ”she said.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Health, almost 4.5 million people have been infected with COVID-19 and about 37 thousand people have died from it. The occupancy rate of intensive care units in hospitals is just over 69%.