Turkey will receive 10 million doses of vaccine from China, says Erdoğan

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Turkey will soon get 10 million doses of vaccines in a second batch from China’s Sinovac Biotech, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced, informing that the country’s vaccination program will continue as planned by the Science Board.

“The second batch of our vaccine procurement has received approval from China. It’s a big possibility that it may arrive this weekend,” Erdoğan told reporters on Jan. 22 after the Friday Prayer in Istanbul.

Erdoğan said the second batch will include 10 million doses. Turkey had already received three million doses from Sinovac and began its vaccination process on Jan. 13 with health personnel. More than one million people have already been vaccinated under the scheduled program. There will be two doses administered with a 28-day interval.

Erdoğan recalled that the vaccination will continue gradually and in categories set by the Science Board.

On a question about growing pressure from restaurants and cafés to get opened under certain conditions, Erdoğan said they will review the implementation of the restrictions during the next cabinet meeting on Jan. 25.

“But we have concerns. They said they will operate under strict rules but unfortunately they don’t keep their promises. We don’t want to reverse the success we had [in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic]. We don’t want to risk it,” he said.

Restaurants, cafés and bars have been closed since mid-November and many of them are struggling economically. Erdoğan said restrictions can only be eased depending on the continued decrease in the number of new coronavirus cases.

Turkey implements a weekend-curfew and curfew between 9.00 p.m. to 5 a.m. during the weekdays. As a result of the restrictions, the number of new cases dropped from 33,000 to less than 6,000 since early December.

Early polls ‘definitely’ out of question

Erdoğan also answered a question on whether the government might favor early elections this summer as suggested by Meral Akşener, the chair of the İYİ (Good) Party.

“Elections before June 2023 are out of question. It’s definitely out of question,” he said, adding that countries with mature democracies go to polls on the scheduled dates.

On another question, Erdoğan repeated that the government has almost completed its works on reforms concerning justice and economy and will outline them in the coming period.

Joint operation against PKK

Erdoğan replied to whether Turkey and Iraq might launch a joint operation against the PKK as a result of Defense Minister Hulusi Akar’s two-day trip to Iraq where he held talks with the central and regional governments on security.

“Joint operations can always happen, but they don’t happen publicly. You know my motto ‘We may come suddenly one night’,” he stressed.

Hurriyet Daily News

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