ADDS REMARKS BY HEALTH MINISTER
By Jeyhun Aliyev and Handan Kazanci
ANKARA / ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkey's daily count of coronavirus cases reached over 55,500 on Friday, the Health Ministry said.
A total of 55,791 cases, including 2,408 symptomatic patients, were confirmed across the country, the data showed.
Turkey's overall case tally is over 3.74 million, while the nationwide death toll has reached 33,454, with 253 fatalities over the past day.
As many as 35,786 more patients in the country won the battle against the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to over 3.26 million.
More than 40.9 million coronavirus tests have been done in Turkey to date, with 305,103 done since Thursday.
The latest figures show that the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition has risen to 2,408.
-Tenfold case rise in Istanbul
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the situation in the metropolis of Istanbul was evaluated with provincial health authorities, adding that the number of cases in the city had climbed around tenfold since the beginning of March.
"Some 40% of the cases in our country are in Istanbul,” Koca said on Twitter. “The situation of Istanbul determines the situation of our country. If we can protect Istanbul, we will be able to protect our country."
Since its vaccination campaign began on Jan. 14, Turkey has administered over 18.4 million coronavirus vaccine jabs nationwide, according to official figures.
Over 10.8 million people to date have gotten their first doses of the vaccine against coronavirus, while second vaccine doses were given to nearly 7.57 million.
To fight a new wave of the virus, Turkey recently announced the return of weekend curfews in high-risk areas, as well as other restrictions, in addition to special measures for the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 2.9 million lives in 191 countries and regions.
Nearly 134.12 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries at almost 76 million, according to figures compiled by the US' Johns Hopkins University.