Turkish COVID-19 cases more than double in a month in challenge to government


New COVID-19 cases in Turkey jumped to 18,912 on Wednesday, more than doubling from mid-February to the highest level in nearly three months, according to Health Ministry data.

There has been an increase in inflection in most provinces of Turkey over the past 15 days, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday. The number of people hospitalised with the virus is not rising as fast, he said.

Turkey’s government eased COVID-19 restrictions at the beginning of the month, including lifting weekend lockdowns in cities deemed at low and medium risk and allowing restaurants and cafes to re-open in many parts of the country.

“Our performance in the first 15 days is not at a desired level,” Koca said. “The situation in the provinces will be tracked for a while. We are all responsible for the increased cases and therefore adhering to the measures is a civic duty for us all.”

A first batch of 5,800 doses of the BioNTech vaccine to be used in tests has arrived in the country and Turkey will receive 4.5 million more doses by the end of March, Koca said.

The total number of infections passed 2.93 million in the country of 85 million people, ranking it ninth globally, data from Worldometer showed.



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