Turkey recorded 7,839 new daily COVID-19 infections on Sunday, the lowest figure since late February.
Last Monday marked the end of the tightest lockdown since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, two weeks of “full closure” as the government called it, as the number of infections dropped to March levels. Daytime curfews have been lifted, but authorities will continue to impose overnight and weekend lockdowns until June.
The number of daily infections had surged to a record high of more than 63,000 in mid-April. Turkey introduced tighter restrictions on April 29 to curb the rise ahead of tourism season.
Since March last year, Turkey has registered a total of 5,186,487 cases of COVID-19, globally the fifth highest after the United States, India, Brazil and France. The country’s death toll rose to 46,268, with 197 people dying on Sunday, Health Ministry data showed.
The Health Ministry has announced a contract for 90 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, increasing the total number to be supplied this year to 120 million.
Uğur Şahin, the CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said the company aimed to deliver 30 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Turkey by the end of June and to complete the delivery of all 120 million doses in July, August, and September.
Turkey has fully vaccinated some 11.9 million people, with another four million having received the first out of two required doses, according to ministry figures.
Turkey began its vaccination campaign in mid-January. The country has struggled to secure enough supplies to cover the 84 million population, predominantly relying on the Chinese company SinoVac’s CoronaVac jab.