Turkey on Friday reported more than 42,000 new coronavirus cases, the Health Ministry said, the highest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic.
A total of 42,308 cases, including 1,471 symptomatic patients, were registered across the country over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 3.4 million.
The nationwide death toll has reached 31,892 with 179 more fatalities over the past day.
As many as 24,419 more patients won the battle against the disease, raising the number of recoveries to over 3 million.
More than 39 million coronavirus tests have been conducted in Turkey to date, with 248,968 done since Thursday.
The latest figures show that the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition stands at 2,182.
Turkey so far delivered 16.1 million doses, including 6.9 million second doses to its citizens, since January. After CoronaVac, it acquired the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the country currently has 2.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine but that this number will reach 4.5 million within 10 days with new shipments.
A full lockdown may help to curb the surge, according to some experts but it is a tough call for the country which is seeking to balance economic challenges and address the complaints of millions subject to stifling curfews.
The government eased measures to curb the pandemic in Turkey earlier this month. On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a tightening of measures, including the return of full nationwide weekend lockdowns for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which will start in two weeks.
In the face of rising case and fatality numbers, Turkey has announced the return of weekend curfews in high-risk areas, as well as other restrictions, in addition to special measures for the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 2.8 million lives in 192 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. Over 129.7 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries now numbering over 73.5 million.