Turkey records highest coronavirus cases in Middle East

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Turkey’s confirmed coronavirus cases shot up to 86,306 which is the highest total among the Middle East countries and North African region and outside Europe or the United States.

Earlier on Saturday, Koca had said that the country’s cases numbering 86,306 had overtaken neighboring Iran for the first time to register the highest total in the Middle East.

The latest figures on Sunday showing increase of 3,977 cases in the last 24 hours lifted Turkey’s confirmed tally above that of China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged.

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Koca said 127 more people have died, taking the death toll to 2,017. A total of 11,976 people have recovered from coronavirus so far, and the number of tests carried out over the past 24 hours came to 35,344, the minister said.

Turkey only reported its first coronavirus patient on March 10, but has seen the number of confirmed cases rise sharply since then. It now has the seventh-highest total in the world. So far it has tested more than 634,000 people.

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On Saturday, the Interior Ministry said it was extending restrictions on travel between 31 cities for a further 15 days starting at midnight on Saturday.

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