Turkey recorded 74,266 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest daily figure on record, Health Ministry data showed on Tuesday, as infections surge due to the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
There were also 137 coronavirus deaths in the same period, according to Health Ministry data.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that there was a significant increase in the number of infections, although the number of coronavirus deaths remained steady.
“Yet as the omicron variant becomes dominant, it will pose a threat to high risk groups, leading to deaths among the elderly and people with chronic disease. Don’t be fooled by the [number of deaths],” he tweeted.
Vaka sayılarında belirgin bir artış var. Bu artış, vefat sayılarına yansımış değil. Fakat Omicron kaynaklı vakalar ağırlık kazandıkça, risk grubundakiler için tehlike kaynağı Omicron olacak ve yaşlılarla kronik hastalarda ölüme de yol açabilecek. DURUM BİZİ YANILTMASIN. pic.twitter.com/GKxIw9MtOJ
— Dr. Fahrettin Koca (@drfahrettinkoca) January 11, 2022
A total of 83.74 percent of people aged 18 and above in Turkey have been fully vaccinated, the ministry said.
Only 22.3 million people have received a booster shot.
In the meantime, Turkey on Wednesday announced the results of the phase III trials of its domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine, Turkovac, which raised suspicions further about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy as it was administered to only 1,182 volunteers during the trial.
This figure is relatively low, given the fact that the phase III trials of Pfizer and BioNTech’s and Chinese Sinovac’s vaccines were conducted on some 44,000 and 60,000 people, respectively.
Although Turkovac was granted emergency use authorization on Dec. 22, many from the medical community raised questions, saying the results of the phase III trials of the vaccine had not been published.
“We still have reservations about telling people to get vaccinated with Turkovac. What happened today was a news conference. We need to see a scientific report,” Şebnem Korur Financı, head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), had said at the time.