Turkey recorded 74,266 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, the highest figure on record, Health Ministry data showed.
Daily cases have more than tripled in just over two weeks as the Omicron variant of the virus spread repidly. The country had registered 65, 236 cases on Monday.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the significant surge in the number of cases has not reflected in the number of deaths.
“However, as Omicron-related cases increase, the variant will be the source of danger for those in the risk groups and this may lead to deaths for the elderly and chronic patients,” he said. Deaths totalled 137 on Tuesday.
Turkey is urging its citizens to get their booster jabs to help halt Omicron’s spread. Some 22.3 million people have received a third dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, Health Ministry’s data showed. The authorities have vaccinated some 52 million adults with two doses, but millions have received the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine, which a Hong Kong study showed is not effective against Omicron.
At the end of last month, Turkey began distributing its home-made Turkovac vaccine, which shares many of the characteristics of CoronaVac. Medics have called on the government to publish details about its effectiveness after the authorities approved it for emergency use.
Vaccinations in Turkey are lagging European averages. Turkey has a population of around 85 million people, meaning the 52 million who have received two doses equates to some 61.1 percent of citizens. In the EU, the full inoculation rate among all age groups stands at 69.9 percent, according to