COVID-19: Turkey reports 34 new deaths, 1,035 cases

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s Health Minister said on Wednesday the country recorded 34 coronavirus-related deaths since the day before, bringing the country’s COVID-19 death toll to 4,431.

Fahrettin Koca tweeted that Turkey confirmed 1,035 new virus cases in the past 24 hours. The total number of confirmed cases in Turkey now stands at 159,797, although more than 121,500 of those involve people since reported as recovered.

A Johns Hopkins University tally ranks Turkey ninth worldwide for number of virus cases, although experts believe the rate of infections globally could be much higher than reported.

Turkey’s daily average of new confirmed cases hovered around 1,000 this week.

The Turkish government began easing some of the restrictions it imposed to control infections, including permitting the reopening of shopping malls and hairdressers. Intercity train service resumed on a limited basis yesterday and mosques will allow congregations for two daytime prayers starting today.

The Health Minister said more freedom will require following recommended strategies to prevent exposure, such as wearing masks and social distancing.

Turkish children under 14 with their parents wearing face masks for protection against the coronavirus, walk in popular Tunali Hilmi Street, in Ankara, Turkey. PHOTO: AP