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Turkey's coronavirus cases back up to early-May levels

October 19, 2020 at 7:40 pm

Healthcare workers take care of a patient infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) in Akdeniz University Hospital in Antalya, Turkey on September 09, 2020 [Orhan Çiçek/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s daily number of new coronavirus cases increased to nearly 2,000 on Monday, reaching levels last seen in early May when restrictions were in place.

Data from the Health Ministry showed another 1,958 people with COVID-19 symptoms had been diagnosed, as Ankara continues to report only symptomatic cases.

The ministry changed the wording on its daily reports from “cases” to “patients” on July 29. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the daily number includes only those who show symptoms.

There were 1,977 cases on May 7.

The total number of patients stood at 349,519 as of Monday, the data showed.

Data also showed 75 people had died in the last 24 hours, also the highest daily level since early May, raising the total death toll to 9,371.

READ: Turkey set for 1st human COVID-19 virus vaccine trial

Turkey imposed weekend lockdowns, restricted intercity travel, and closed restaurants and cafes earlier this year to slow the spread of the virus.

Almost all restrictions were lifted in June. The government has since enforced measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, and has imposed fines on those who break the rules.

Officials say new lockdowns and other stricter measures are currently not on the agenda.

Turkey’s top medical association and the main opposition party have criticised the government’s decision only to disclose the number of symptomatic patients.