Turkey: Number of new virus cases continues to drop

By Sena Guler and Merve Berker

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey on Monday reported over 5,800 new coronavirus cases, down from 6,436 the previous day, according to Health Ministry data.

A total of 5,862 cases, including 749 symptomatic patients, were confirmed across the country, the data showed.

Turkey’s overall case tally is over 2.39 million, while the nationwide death toll reached 24,161, with 164 fatalities over the past day.

As many as 7,905 more patients recovered in the country, bringing the total past 2.27 million.

More than 27.52 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Turkey to date, with 151,342 done over the past 24 hours.

The latest figure shows that the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition dropped to 2,183.

On Thursday, Turkey kicked off a mass COVID-vaccination campaign with healthcare workers being the first to get the jab. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other top officials were also vaccinated.

As of Monday, over 820,000 healthcare workers in the country have received their first vaccine doses, according to the Health Ministry.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca became the first person in the country to receive the Chinese vaccine jab after Turkey approved CoronaVac for emergency use.

The first batch of 3 million doses of the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac arrived in Turkey on Dec. 30.

Since last month, Turkey has been imposing curfews on both weeknights and weekends as part of its efforts to curb the virus’ spread.

Since December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 2.03 million lives in 191 countries and regions.

Over 95.17 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries now over 52.45 million, according to figures compiled by the US' Johns Hopkins University.

The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of cases.