Turkey Friday reported 1,665 new coronavirus cases and 73 deaths in the past 24 hours, Heath Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
According to daily data released by the ministry, the new infections were identified in more than 112,885 coronavirus tests, taking the total number of cases in the country to 311,455.
The nationwide death toll from the disease has surged to 7,858, with 73 new fatalities. The total number of those who have recovered from COVID-19 increased to 273,7282, with 1,318 patients declared free of the coronavirus in the past day.
During a news conference Friday, Koca said that nationwide measures and regular inspections to ensure compliance with these rules helped Turkey bring the “speed of the outbreak” under control in the last week.
He stressed, however, that "this should never, ever lead us to end the vigilance."
After bringing the speed of the outbreak under control, Turkey expects the number of patients to drop further within the next 10 days, Koca emphasized.
“We aim to reduce the number of patients with measures aimed at relieving the burden (the outbreak) has placed on our hospitals,” he said.
The minister also highlighted that the bed occupancy rate across Turkey stood at 51% and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rate stood at 68%, while the country's occupancy rate of breathing apparatus at 33%.
He noted that the average time of reaching out to those who were in contact with a positive patient had decreased to 13 hours.
“We will succeed the earlier we isolate the contacts of positive patients. Turkey is among the best countries in the world in contact tracing,” Koca said.
Since going through the worst of the outbreak and managing to lower the number of daily cases below 1,000, Turkey has been witnessing a resurgence in new infections.
In an effort to halt steadily rising rates, the government has introduced several measures, making wearing masks outside mandatory across the country and running mass transit at a reduced capacity.
COVID-19 has claimed more than 984,500 lives in 188 countries since last December. Over 32.3 million cases have been reported worldwide, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
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