Turkey is re-introducing weekend lockdowns in most of its provinces and will also impose restrictions over the Muslim holy month of Ramadan following a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, the Associated Press reported. Infections in Turkey have soared less than a month after authorities divided the 81 provinces into four color-coded categories and relaxed restrictions in some provinces under a “controlled normalization” effort. The number of infections hit a record on Tuesday, with the Health Ministry confirming 37,303 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Turkey’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 17% at the first monetary policy meeting of the year, pledging to keep it elevated for an “extended” period, Bloomberg News reported. The lira rose. The Monetary Policy Committee’s decision was in line with the forecasts of most analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The dissenters, including economists at Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale SA, had predicted an increase of 50 to 100 basis points.