Turkey reports record daily number of new COVID-19 patients

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey recorded its highest daily number of new COVID-19 patients on Saturday as the country’s first curfew since June went into effect.

The health ministry said 5,532 people with symptoms were diagnosed in 24 hours, about 400 more than what was recorded on the previous record day in April. The Turkish government does not publicly report confirmed cases of the coronavirus involving people without symptoms of COVID-19, a policy that has been criticized for obscuring the true scope of the national outbreak.

“The number of our serious patients and our losses also hurt,” tweeted Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

The total number of reported patients in the country now stands at 440,805. Turkey also reported 135 more deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing its death toll since March to 12,219.

A curfew order went into effect at 8 p.m. Saturday, a day after restaurants, cafes and other businesses were ordered to close. The government lifted infection control restrictions over the summer, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced new limits last week as the number of patients increased.

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