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Coronavirus test number in Turkey tops 2 million, minister says

Coronavirus test number in Turkey tops 2 million, minister says

The total number of novel coronavirus tests in Turkey has exceeded 2 million, while the daily test count has increased by 3,000, according to Turkey’s top health authority on Saturday.

The number of patients who recovered from the disease reached almost 127,000 as 1,021 more were discharged from hospitals over the past day, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, sharing the latest official coronavirus figures.

The country reported a total of 983 new cases, bringing the infection tally to 163,103, Koca added.

The death toll from the outbreak rose to 4,515 as Turkey reported 26 new fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to the data retrieved from the Turkish Health Ministry.

A total of 649 COVID-19 patients are being treated in intensive care, the data showed.

Koca reiterated the importance of hand hygiene, wearing masks and keeping social distance.

Meanwhile, Turkey on Saturday announced the resumption of domestic flights as the country eases coronavirus restrictions and looks to restore normalcy.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu said domestic flights would resume on June 1 as part of the normalization process after the months-long virus restrictions, adding that the first flights would be from Istanbul to major cities of Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and Trabzon provinces, while flights to other cities would resume gradually.

On Saturday, the Turkish Interior Ministry also ordered local officials to allow restaurants, cafes, patisseries, coffee shops and similar venues to open daily until 10.00 p.m. local time, as of June 1. Parks, gardens, picnic and recreational areas, hiking and fishing, as well as beaches, swimming pools and hot springs will also resume services effective Monday.

The ministry also said that travel permits would no longer be required for intercity public transportation vehicles, noting that entry and exit restrictions in the country’s 15 provinces would also be lifted as of midnight May 31.

Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

The US, Brazil, Russia, and several European countries are currently the hardest hit in the world.

The pandemic has killed over 366,800 people worldwide, with more than 5.99 million confirmed cases, while recoveries surpassed 2.53 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.