Turkey's daily COVID-19 patients top 2,000, at early-May levels

Credit: REUTERS/MURAD SEZER

Turkey's daily number of new coronavirus cases surpassed 2,000 on Monday, reaching levels last seen in early May when restrictions on businesses and households were in place.

Updates with new daily number from ministry

ISTANBUL, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Turkey's daily number of new coronavirus cases surpassed 2,000 on Monday, reaching levels last seen in early May when restrictions on businesses and households were in place.

Data from the Health Ministry showed another 2,026 people with COVID-19 symptoms had been diagnosed, as Ankara continues to report only symptomatic cases.

The ministry changed the wording on its daily reports from "cases" to "patients" on July 29. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the daily number includes only those who show symptoms.

The ministry had said earlier that 1,958 patients were diagnosed on Monday but later updated the data.

There were 2,253 cases on May 6.

The total number of patients stood at 349,519 as of Monday, the data showed.

Data also showed 75 people had died in the last 24 hours, also the highest daily level since early May, raising the total death toll to 9,371.

Turkey imposed weekend lockdowns, restricted intercity travel and closed restaurants and cafes earlier this year to slow the spread of the virus.

Almost all restrictions were lifted in June. The government has since enforced measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, and has imposed fines on those who break rules.

Turkey's top medical association and the main opposition party have criticised the government's decision to only disclose the number of symptomatic patients.

(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Mark Potter and Jonathan Spicer)

((ali.kucukgocmen@thomsonreuters.com , @alikucukgocmen; +902123507067; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: ali.kucukgocmen.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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