Turkey’s coronavirus death toll increases to 356, number of cases at 18,135: minister

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Turkey had 18,135 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Thursday, with an increase of 2,456 in the last 24 hours, the health minister said, while the death toll grew by 79 to 356.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca posted a chart showing the latest figures in his daily briefing on Twitter after a meeting with a scientific board assisting the ministry.

According to the chart, 18,757 test results have come in since yesterday, and 415 patients have been discharged from hospitals since the onset of the outbreak.

A total of 1,884 people have been hospitalized over the course of the epidemic, of whom 1,101 were in intensive care.

“Our number of tests has increased by more than 4,000 compared to yesterday,” Koca said. “The ratio of positive cases to test number has fallen.”

He also said 82 new patients have recovered and that 82 percent of those who died in the last 24 hours were people over the age of 60.

The first case of coronavirus in Turkey was confirmed by the minister on March 11.

Experts say the exponential increase in the number of cases poses a great danger to the Turkish public.

There are claims that the number of COVID-19 cases is actually higher than what is officially announced as many cases go unnoticed because tests are not widely performed.

First seen in the Chinese city of Wuhan, COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the world, infecting nearly 1,000,000 people worldwide and killing more than 50,000. In the meantime, some 205,000 people reportedly recovered.

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