REVISES HEADLINE, ADDS MORE REMARKS FROM HEALTH MINISTER
By Jeyhun Aliyev and Dilan Pamuk
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey confirmed 2,102 more COVID-19 patients over the past 24 hours, the authorities announced on Thursday.
The country's overall coronavirus patient count now stands at 355,528, according to Health Ministry data. On Wednesday, 2,013 new coronavirus patients were reported in the country.
Turkey registered another 1,581 recoveries over the past day, raising the tally to 310,027.
As many as 117,198 new tests were conducted since Wednesday, bringing the total to more than 12.8 million.
Meanwhile, the virus-linked death toll in Turkey reached 9,584 with 71 new fatalities reported.
The number of patients in critical condition now stands at 1,599.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca urged the public to comply with health measures and keep wearing masks.
"The most important challenge for our health care professionals is to treat seriously ill patients and reduce their numbers. Our part is far easier. Support the struggle [against the virus] by complying with the precautions, especially by wearing the mask," he said on Twitter.
Wearing masks is compulsory in all public areas and outdoors in Turkey.
- High number of infections in Istanbul
Later on Twitter, Koca said he discussed the course of pandemic in the megacity Istanbul in a meeting with the provincial governor, police chief, deputy ministers, provincial health director, field coordinators and chief physicians and decided on the measures to be taken against the ongoing rise of infection cases.
"The number of cases [of coronavirus infection] in Istanbul has made up 40% of nationwide toll, reaching 5 times [of cases] in Ankara," Koca said.
He underlined that they increased the contact screening and the number of tests in the city.
"In the fight against the pandemic, we currently do not have a stronger weapon than the [protective] measures you will follow. The importance of the mask has increased. And we will face the toughest test against the crowd," he added.
Nearly 41.4 million people have tested positive for the novel pandemic globally, while over 1.13 million have died, and around 28.2 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University’s running tally.
The US, India, and Brazil are currently the worst-hit countries.