Turkey has confirmed 117 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total death toll to 2,376.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 98,674, as 3,083 more people tested positive for the virus.
So far, a total of 16,477 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovering from the virus, with 1,559 discharged on Tuesday alone.
A total of 37,535 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, with the total reaching 750,944.
Health Minister refutes NYT article on Istanbul COVID-19 death toll
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Wednesday refuted a recent New York Times article, which alleged that the government was underreporting the COVID-19 death toll in Istanbul.
“People who were supposed to be laid to rest in their respective hometowns had to be buried in Istanbul instead as a precaution against the pandemic. Hence the numbers are higher than usual,” he said.
“Death rate from coronavirus is 5.3% in the US, 10.5% in Spain, 13.2% in Italy, 3.5% in Germany, 13.5% in UK, 17.3% in France, 5.5% in China, 14.7% in Belgium, and 2.3% in Turkey. The data proves the efficiency of our efforts,” the minister stated.
“We have given all the information transparently to the World Health Organization, as it wants, and we continue to do so,” he added.
Turkish firm develops 5-minute COVID-19 test
A Turkish firm based in the Aegean province of İzmir has developed a COVID-19 testing kit that can yield results within five minutes, with plans to mass produce the tests already underway to help the country contain the outbreak.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on Wednesday, Türklab General Manager Kartal Yağlıdere said the company has been producing test kits for various diseases for the past 25 years and decided to put their expertise to work to help the country in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
WHO cautiously optimistic about Turkey as number of virus cases stabilizes
The World Health Organization (WHO) said in an online press briefing in Geneva on Thursday that they are cautiously optimistic about Turkey and that the number of COVID-19 cases is stabilizing.
WHO’s European Director Dr. Hans Kluge said during the press briefing that there is no fast way to normalization and that any measures should be taken gradually, pointing to countries that are partially lifting restrictions due to the decline of new confirmed virus cases. Complacency, BBC quotes Kluge as saying, would be “our biggest enemy.”
Restrictions may be eased in phases after Ramadan
According to Hürriyet Daily News, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has shared plans as to how the normalization process will play out in the period ahead, which foresees the gradual easing of measures that have been introduced to curb the spread of the virus.
At a recent central executive committee meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AKP), the president stressed that people are largely abiding by the lockdown rules and said that if people keep sticking with those measures, curbs could be relaxed.
The government will implement a four-phase roadmap down the road until a vaccine against the COVID-19 is developed, Milliyet newspaper has separately reported.
The normalization process may begin after Ramadan and include four stages: Namely the preparation period – called phase zero – between May 4 and May 20, the first phase from May 27 to Aug. 31.
The third phase covers the period between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. And the final stage will kick off on Jan. 1, 2021, if the vaccine does not get developed during the phase 2 and phase 3.
As to what happens in those stages, a blueprint inked by the Interior Ministry provides some clues: Restaurants and cafes could be allowed to open on limited business hours in the first phase with social distancing rules firmly enforced. This strategy will be implemented if no case is reported within 14 days.
Important Flight Information
April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day celebrations in Fethiye
Fethiye District Police Dolphin and traffic teams made sure April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, was celebrated today.
A celebration convoy of police vehicles drove round the streets of Fethiye sounding their horns.. Police vehicles were decorated with Turkish flags and red balloons and four Dolphin team riders carried a large Turkish Flag between them.
The surprise celebration was accompanied by applause from the people of Fethiye from their balconies and windows
There are now 2,669,965 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, of which 731,012 have recovered. The number of fatalities stands at 186,388.
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Today’s featured image: “Early morning over Fethiye” by Lyn Ward