Turkey’s daily COVID-19 patients top 2,000, at early-May levels

The Turkish government has since enforced measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, and has imposed fines on those who break rules. (AP)
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Updated 20 October 2020

Turkey’s daily COVID-19 patients top 2,000, at early-May levels

  • Turkey imposed weekend lockdowns, restricted intercity travel and closed restaurants and cafes earlier this year

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s daily number of new coronavirus cases surpassed 2,000 on Monday, reaching levels last seen in early May when restrictions on businesses and households were in place.
Data from the Health Ministry showed another 2,026 people with COVID-19 symptoms had been diagnosed, as Ankara continues to report only symptomatic cases.
The ministry changed the wording on its daily reports from “cases” to “patients” on July 29. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the daily number includes only those who show symptoms.
The ministry had said earlier that 1,958 patients were diagnosed on Monday but later updated the data.
There were 2,253 cases on May 6.
The total number of patients stood at 349,519 as of Monday, the data showed.
Data also showed 75 people had died in the last 24 hours, also the highest daily level since early May, raising the total death toll to 9,371.
Turkey imposed weekend lockdowns, restricted intercity travel and closed restaurants and cafes earlier this year to slow the spread of the virus.
Almost all restrictions were lifted in June. The government has since enforced measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, and has imposed fines on those who break rules.
Turkey’s top medical association and the main opposition party have criticized the government’s decision to only disclose the number of symptomatic patients.


UAE eases limits on foreign ownership to attract investors

Updated 24 November 2020

UAE eases limits on foreign ownership to attract investors

  • Earlier this month, the UAE also announced a series of reforms to its Islamic legal code
  • The reforms allow foreign entrepreneurs and investors to set up their own companies without involving local shareholders

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates has relaxed and removed a range of limits on foreign ownership of companies, state-run media reported Monday, in the country’s latest bid to boost its global status and attract foreign investors.
Earlier this month, the UAE announced a series of reforms to its Islamic legal code, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, improving protections for women and loosening restrictions on alcohol consumption.
The dramatic changes come as the UAE has spent billions of dollars preparing to host some 25 million visitors for the World Expo, which was pushed back to 2021 because of the pandemic.
The UAE also expects Israelis to join the legions of foreigners who have opened up businesses and bought apartments in the coastal cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi following a breakthrough US-brokered normalization deal between the countries.
Dubai in particular, which was teetering on the brink of an economic downturn before the pandemic thanks to a weak real estate market, is eager for the influx of capital and travelers. COVID-19 has battered its economy, which draws largely from the tourism, hospitality and aviation industries.
The presidential decree that alters the corporate law helps the UAE “strengthen its leading position regionally and globally as an attractive destination for projects and companies,” state-run WAM news agency reported.
The reforms allow foreign entrepreneurs and investors to set up their own companies without involving local shareholders, the agency said.
That’s a welcome development for the country’s many expatriates who long had their ownership capped at 49 percent in firms outside free zones.
Other legal amendments remove quotas requiring that Emiratis hold the majority of board positions and serve as chairs for onshore companies. Companies that want to be publicly traded will be able to sell up to 70 percent of their shares instead of the current 30 percent limit.
The amendments will certainly diminish the appeal of 45 “free” zones across the UAE, where those wanting to avoid local-hiring quotas and retain full foreign ownership would set up shop.