Turkey announces 996 new COVID-19 cases, health minister urges caution

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Turkey announced 996 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, 14 more than yesterday, bringing the total number of cases to 231,869, according to a chart posted on Twitter by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who urged the public to be more careful about the virus.

“We all need to make sure we’re taking the proper precautions. The daily increase in the number of coronavirus cases is near 1,000 again. We struggled for 33 days to get it down below 1,000,” Koca tweeted.

The COVID-19 death toll, meanwhile, increased by 19 to 5,710 in the last 24 hours, the chart indicated.

Beginning last week, the health ministry chart no longer showed the number of intensive care patients and those on ventilators but instead reported the number of patients in critical condition and the percentage of patients among all cases who have developed pneumonia due to the coronavirus.

Today’s chart indicated that the number of patients in critical condition grew by four to 586, 8.7 percent of whom have developed pneumonia.

Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, in severe cases it causes pneumonia. According to experts, some 15 percent of coronavirus cases are severe, and nearly 5 percent of patients need ventilators to breathe.

Meanwhile, 981 more people were declared to have recovered on Wednesday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 215,516.

Turkey has conducted 4,845,669 tests so far, with 44,846 more in the last 24 hours.

On average, the country conducts some 56,000 tests per 1 million of population, better than countries like the Netherlands and France but far worse than the UK, the US and Germany. Turkey reported its first COVID-19 case on March 11. The country eased preventative measures at the start of June, opening shopping malls, cafes, restaurants and mosques.

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