Turkey records highest COVID19 death toll

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ISTANBUL (AFP) – Turkey on Friday reported 141 new deaths from the coronavirus, the highest single toll since its first recorded death in March.

The previous record was set on April 19, when Turkey, a nation of 83 million, reported 127 deaths.

Ankara has now attributed 12,084 deaths to the virus, although its infection levels are unclear because officials now only report the number of people displaying Covid-19 symptoms, and not all those who test positive for the virus.

The grim milestone was reached on the eve of Turkey s first weekend curfew since the pandemic s first wave.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday announced a raft of new restrictions, including orders for people to be home by 8:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays until the numbers subside.

Erodgan also switched schools to remote learning and required restaurants to provide takeout and delivery service only.

Older people and children are allowed outside at specific times of day, and stores and malls must close by 8:00 pm as well.

The World Health Organization has expressed praise for Turkey s response to the health crisis.

Turkey has required people to wear masks on the streets across big cities since July and applied the measure nationally in September.

But the WHO has rapped officials for being vague about how they counts new infections.

Turkey now publishes the number of coronavirus “patients”, but never fully explained why — or exactly when — it made the switch,

It reported 5,103 new “patients” on Friday, bringing the total number to more than 435,000.

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