ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The number of new cases of new coronavirus infection identified in the last 24 hours fell below 1,000 in Turkey, marking a change in the country’s fight against the coronavirus, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday.

“We will fight more freely with the virus by changing the conditions,” Koca said on Twitter, adding that people should continue using masks and follow 1.5-metre social-distancing measures.

Health Ministry data showed 972 new patients had been identified in the last 24 hours.

The number of people who have died from the infectious respiratory disease rose by 23 in the same period to a total of 4,222, data also showed.

Turkey’s daily number of new infections has fallen to around 1,000 from some 4,500 last month. Its total coronavirus cases topped 150,000 with some 75% already recovered.

(Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Hugh Lawson)