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  • Doctors at the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Doctors at the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak. | Photo: EFE

Published 29 March 2020

Turkey has seen a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases over the past week, prompting the government to implement new measures to contain the illness. 

In the past 24 hours in Turkey, 16 more people lost their lives due to COVID-19, raising the death toll to 108, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Saturday night.

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The total number of novel coronavirus cases rose to 7,402 in Turkey, the minister tweeted, which is a significant rise in the total number of people infected by the illness.

A total of 7,641 tests were performed on Saturday and 1,704 were diagnosed, he pointed out, while adding that Ankara is doing its best to help contain the virus across the country.

Turkey reported the first COVID-19 case in the country on March 11, which is several weeks later than neighboring Iraq and Iran, who have been affected by the virus since late January. 

The Islamic Republic of Iran has reported one of the highest death tolls because of the coronavirus, despite attempts by Tehran to contain the illness since the month of February. 

With the 2,901 new confirmed cases over the past 24 hours, the total number of infected people with the novel coronavirus in Iran reached 38,309 on Sunday, reported official IRNA news agency.

Also, the number of people died from the disease reached 2,640 on Sunday, Kianush Jahanpur, head of Public Relations and Information Center of Ministry of Health and Medical Education, was quoted as saying.

Jahanpur said that of all the reported cases, 12,391 have recovered.

The Iranian health official added that 3,467 of the patients are in critical condition.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said that the number of infected people has taken a downward trend in 13 Iranian provinces.

On Friday, Iran started the implementation of a social distancing plan for one week.

Based on the plan, more restrictions are put on the inter-city travels, and public and entertaining places are closed. Gatherings are banned and work hours of civil servants are reduced.

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