Turkish parliament bars visitors due to coronavirus

Turkey’s parliament has barred visitors through March 31 as a precaution against coronavirus, the Parliament Speaker’s Office said on Friday, SIA reports citing AA.

"During this period, the work of parliament will continue, and the parliamentary staff will carry out their duties," said the statement, adding that after March 31, the measure will be reevaluated. It noted that parliament will also not accept any visitors for the weekly parliamentary group meetings. Separately, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has pre-emptively cancelled next week's parliamentary group meeting.

Turkey this week confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19 ­– a man who traveled to Europe, and later a person close to that man – amid advisories to take necessary measures to avoid spreading the virus. After originating in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 114 countries. The global death toll stands at nearly 5,000, with over 132,500 confirmed cases. This week the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.

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