Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing – August 4, 2020

Alaturka Amerika ABD Haberleri

By Gozde Bayar

ANKARA (AA) – Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world.

– Coronavirus in Turkey

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Turkey on Monday confirmed 1,003 more recoveries from the novel coronavirus, bringing the tally to 217,497, according to the country's health minister.

A total of 995 more people contracted COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, bringing the number of infections to 233,851.

The country's death toll from the disease rose to 5,747 with 19 new fatalities over the past 24 hours.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said measures against the virus were not sufficiently taken into consideration during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

– Other developments in Turkey

Turkey’s foreign minister remembered members of the Yazidi religious minority group who suffered from a Daesh/ISIS “massacre” in 2014 in Iraq.

"Grief for Yazidis massacred 6 years ago by DAESH is still vivid in our memory,” Mevlut Cavusoglu posted on Twitter.

Also, Turkey denounced a US firm’s signing of a deal with the YPG/PKK-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to extract, process and produce oil in northeastern Syria.

Turkey continues its resolute fight against terrorism. A total of 123 terrorists have turned themselves in to Turkish security forces in 2020 so far, the country’s Interior Ministry said Monday.

Among the terrorists "neutralized" last month in eastern Turkey was a wanted PKK member, Turkish authorities said Monday.

The terrorist Seyithan Acay — codenamed Brusk Israel — was "neutralized" in eastern Sirnak province on July 30 along with three others.

A group of aggrieved families in southeastern Turkey continued a sit-in protest during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday against the YPG/PKK terror group outside the office of a political party.

– Global coronavirus developments

Since originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19 has claimed over 691,000 lives in 188 countries and regions.

More than 18.18 million cases have been reported worldwide, while over 10.83 million patients have recovered, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The US has exceeded 155,000 deaths as it struggles to cope with the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

The head of the World Health Organization said there is currently no silver bullet, and there might never be, for the virus, despite several vaccines now in phase three clinical trials for COVID-19.

The WHO says there is currently no vaccine to prevent the virus. There are 139 candidate vaccines in preclinical evaluation and 25 in clinical assessment.

The novel coronavirus claimed 541 lives in Brazil and 274 in Mexico in the past 24 hours, according to health officials.

Meanwhile, Army Gen. Walter Braga Netto, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, has tested positive for COVID-19.

The number of confirmed cases in India of the virus surpassed 1.8 million, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

India’s drug controller body granted permission to a local firm for conducting clinical human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University.

The Drug Controller General of India approved an application from the Serum Institute of India for phase two and three trials of the vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or AZD1222, in India as the trials have shown “promising results."

Israel confirmed another 713 infections from the virus.

More than 1,200 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to over 280,000, official data revealed Monday.

Iran confirmed 215 more fatalities from the coronavirus, bringing the nationwide death toll to 17,405, according to an official.

The spread of COVID-19 continues to accelerate in post-lockdown Spain, with the Health Ministry detecting 8,532 new cases over the weekend.

COVID-19 cases and fatalities continued to rise in Eurasian and Central Asian countries, according to official figures.

Gambia's Finance Minister Mambury Njie, Petroleum and Energy Minister Fafa Sanyang and Agriculture Minister Amie Fabureh were confirmed to have contracted the virus, according to an official statement.

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti announced Sunday that he has tested positive for the virus.

New types of tests for COVID-19 in the UK will be able to detect the virus within 90 minutes and will be rolled out nationwide.

"The fact that these tests can detect flu as well as COVID-19 will be hugely beneficial as we head into winter, so patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others," said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Meanwhile, researchers at La Croix-Rousse Hospital in Lyon, France have developed a breath test for COVID-19.

US President Donald Trump issued a stern public rebuke of his coronavirus task force coordinator Monday, calling Dr. Deborah Birx "pathetic" after she issued a dire warning over the virus's spread.

-Other global developments

Trump vowed Monday to take legal action after the state of Nevada passed a bill on Sunday to allow mail-in ballots.

"In an illegal late-night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!" Trump said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Trump gave prospective buyers of Chinese-owned video app TikTok's US operations until Sept. 15 to forge a deal, threatening to otherwise ban the video app in the country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposes American plans to pull out thousands of troops from Germany, a deputy government spokeswoman said at a routine weekly press briefing in Berlin on Monday.

Leaked documents claimed that UK special forces carried out deliberate killings in Afghanistan, local media reported Monday.

The court documents and internal army e-mails were referring to the killing of 33 civilian Afghans, and they were part of an ongoing court case into whether the killings were properly investigated, according to reports by the BBC and the Times.

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