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Turkey records highest number of infections since pandemic’s start

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Turkey on Wednesday reported over 50,000 new coronavirus infections, its highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic over a year ago, Agence France-Presse reported.

The 54,740 new cases and 276 deaths mean Turkey is now in the throes of a third wave of the outbreak, which has killed 32,943 people in the nation of 83 million, government figures show.

The rising numbers have forced the government to tighten restrictions that had been eased at the start of March.

Much of Turkey has plunged into the high-risk infection zone, including the capital Ankara and İstanbul.

The government announced the return of weekend curfews in high-risk cities after a spike in the number of cases, to be followed by measures taken during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Full weekend lockdowns will be in place during Ramadan, which is due to run from mid-April until mid-May.

Restaurants will be open for delivery and takeaway only.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday he hoped the measures taken during Ramadan would help Turkey lower the number of cases in time for tourism season in May.

Turkey has relied almost exclusively on the Chinese firm Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab since launching its campaign in mid-January.

On Friday, Turkey began administering Pfizer and BioNTech shots.

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