By Enes Kaplan
ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish health minister on Thursday announced the latest weekly infection rates for COVID-19 across the country's 81 provinces.
Sharing the data for July 24 to July 30 on Twitter, Fahrettin Koca urged people to immediately get vaccinated.
“Provinces with a high vaccination rate are less affected by the increase in cases,” Koca said.
The cases count significantly increased in the three Turkish metropolitan cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
The number of cases per 100,000 people was 168.82 in Istanbul – home to nearly one-fifth of Turkey's population – 165.2 in the capital Ankara, and 43.3 in the Aegean province of Izmir.
The southeastern Siirt province topped the list with 1,139.94 cases per 100,000 people.
Turkey has administered more than 74.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in January, according to the latest figures.
Turkey has entered a new normalization phase in July amid a nationwide fall in virus cases and an expedited vaccination drive, lifting almost all virus-related restrictions.
However, seeking to limit the spread of the Delta variant of the virus, the country has suspended flights from Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, passengers from the UK, Iran, Egypt, and Singapore are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to their flight.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed nearly 4.26 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with over 200.37 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US' Johns Hopkins University.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar