Turkey reports cases of South Africa, Brazil variants of coronavirus

Two people in Turkey have contracted the South African variant of the coronavirus while one has tested positive for the Brazil variant, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Wednesday, Daily Sabah reports. 

Speaking after a meeting of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board in the capital Ankara, Koca also said that Turkey has 196 confirmed cases of the U.K. virus strain so far.

In the wake of rising cases once again, the measures against the pandemic will continue full throttle, he said.

Regarding the vaccination efforts, Koca said Turkey will start vaccinating people over 65, the second group in the vaccine program, following safety tests of the second COVID-19 vaccine group.

So far, 2.4 million people in the country have been vaccinated with vaccination for those aged above 75 underway, he added.

Koca underlined some of these variants spread fast, calling on citizens to adopt precautionary measures and avoid large gatherings.

He went on to say face-to-face classes at schools in rural areas will start as of Feb. 15. Classes for grades 8 and 12 are expected to start in March depending on the course of the pandemic.

Turkey on Wednesday registered 8,102 new coronavirus cases, including 632 symptomatic patients, according to data released by the Health Ministry.

The country's case count topped 2.5 million, while nationwide fatalities reached 26,354 after 117 deaths over the past day.

With 8,314 more patients winning the battle against the virus, the total number of recoveries in the country rose to over 2.38 million.

Over 30 million coronavirus tests have been administered to date in Turkey, including 148,192 in the past 24 hours.

The latest figures also show that the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition stands at 1,523.


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