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Turkey witnesses highest single-day spike as Covid cases surpass 54,000

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey recorded 54,740 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed late on Wednesday. It is the highest number of daily cases since the start of the pandemic.

The latest daily death toll was 276, also the highest since the start of the outbreak, bringing the cumulative toll to 32,943.

Turkey has carried out nearly 17.97 million vaccine inoculations, with some 10.55 million people receiving the first dose, since it began the nationwide rollout of Covid-19 shots on January 14, health ministry data showed.

In late March, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a tightening of coronavirus restrictions, including the return of full nationwide weekend lockdowns during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts on April 13.

Out of the country’s 81 provinces, 58 are marked as “red” or “very high-risk” zones, including the cultural and economic hub of Istanbul and the national capital, Ankara.

Communal meals during the holy month of Ramadan observed by Muslims have been prohibited, as was the case last year.

Mass gatherings in tents and other places for the pre-dawn and after-dusk meals will also not be allowed.

Furthermore, restaurants and cafes across the country will be closed during Ramadan.

Daily overnight curfews remain in place from 9:00 pm (18:00 GMT) to 5:00 am (02:00 GMT).