Turkey recorded its highest daily coronavirus cases in nearly three months with 20,000 new infections, Health Ministry data showed on Thursday.
According to the ministry data, 20,049 new cases were confirmed in 184,452 tests carried over in the past 24 hours.
Thursday's case numbers were the highest since Dec. 20, when Ankara reported 20,316 daily cases.
With Thursday's figures, the total number of coronavirus cases since the onset of the outbreak has reached 2,950,603.
The ministry also reported 81 daily deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the total death toll to 29,777.
Meanwhile, the ministry data showed 18,615 have recovered from the disease over the past day. With 2,770,638 total recoveries so far, the number of active coronavirus cases in the country stood at around 180,000.
Earlier this month, the country started easing restrictions on a provincial basis, based on low numbers in some provinces. The government vowed not to bring them back unless absolutely necessary. The impact of the “normalization process,” which included an end to Saturday curfews and the reopening of some businesses like restaurants, is yet to be seen fully but so far, daily cases have displayed an upward trend.
Experts tie the rise in case numbers to three factors: increased mobility amid normalization, new variants of the virus spreading faster across the country and the public failure to comply with rules as some drop their guard in light of the normalization process.