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Coronavirus: Turkey exempts young workers from confinement order

Public and private sector employees as well as seasonal agricultural workers aged between 18 and 20 will be exempted
Pedestrian wearing face mask walks by statue also covered with face mask in Ankara last week (AFP)

Turkey on Sunday said working youth, including seasonal agricultural labour, will be exempted from a confinement order imposed as part of tougher measures against the coronavirus pandemic. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday issued a mandatory confinement order, or curfew, for everyone aged under 20, in the latest series of measures taken nationwide. 

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A stay-at-home order was already in place for those over the age of 65 who are deemed the most vulnerable to the coronavirus. But because many youths were not adhering to the order, the government extended it to those under the age of 20 as well. 

Only essential trips outside of the home for the purchase of food or medicine are allowed, Erdogan said. 

Public and private sector employees, as well as seasonal agricultural workers aged between 18 and 20, will now be exempted, the interior ministry said in a circular, according to AFP.

The country's death toll from the coronavirus, known officially as Covid-19, reached 574 after 73 more people lost their lives over the last 24 hours, according to figures published by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Sunday.

The total number of confirmed cases rose to 27,069 while the country performed more than 20,000 tests on Sunday.

"Let's stay home. I thank young people who set a model for everyone with their behaviour under the new practice," Koca tweeted.

Turkish authorities have closed schools, suspended international flights and banned mass prayers and gatherings to stem the spread of the virus in the country of 83 million.