Turkey: Virus deaths up to 2,706, positive test rate down

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s Health Ministry has reported 2,861 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 106 more deaths but says the rate of positive tests for the virus is decreasing.

The daily figures Health Minister Fahrettin Koca shared on Saturday brought the total number of virus-related deaths recorded by the Turkish government to 2,706.

Turkey ranks seventh in the world for confirmed infections, surpassing China and Iran, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. The government reported a total of 107,773 cases as of Saturday.

But experts believe many more people have gotten sick or died during the pandemic than the ones included in the Johns Hopkins University project due to limited testing for the virus, the difficulty of counting the dead during the crisis and other factors.

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Nearly 870,000 people so far have been tested in Turkey, which has a population of about 82 million.

In a tweet, Koca urged continued precautions while the rate of positive tests is going down.

Health Ministry data said 3,845 people being treated for COVID-19 were released from hospitals in the past 24 hours.

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