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Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing – May 19, 2020

Daily briefing on novel coronavirus pandemic worldwide and Turkey and other developments

Davut Demircan   | 19.05.2020
Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing – May 19, 2020

ANKARA

Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world.   

COVID-19 in Turkey 

Turkey continued to make great progress in its fight against the coronavirus.  

On Monday, the Turkish Health Ministry announced that a total of 111,577 people have recovered from the illness so far. 

Over the past day, the death toll reached 4,171 with 31 more fatalities -- the lowest figure since March 23. Some 1,158 new cases were also registered, bringing the tally to 150,593, said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. 

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey will impose a nationwide curfew during the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

 

He said they also decided to extend the travel ban in 15 major cities for 15 more days and that mosques across the country will gradually reopen for worship starting May 29 with Friday prayers. 

Turkey is also among the countries that have been imposing curfews on weekends to fight the novel coronavirus. 

Coronavirus continues doing damage 

Since the virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, it has spread to 188 countries and regions. 

The global tally for novel coronavirus infections surpassed 4.8 million late Monday, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University. 

The death toll worldwide from the virus has reached 318,481, with the number of recoveries exceeding 1.78 million.  

The US is still the most affected country in the world, with over 1.5 million cases and more than 90,000 fatalities. 

US President Donald Trump said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug he has repeatedly touted for the treatment of coronavirus patients. 

Anyone with symptoms is now eligible for a COVID-19 test, Britain’s health secretary announced Monday, as health authorities said another 160 people had died from the coronavirus across the UK over the past 24 hours. 

European countries announce lowest number of COVID-19 fatalities. 

Italy reported 99 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 32,007 -- the lowest increase since the first phase of the contagion in early March. 

Spain’s Health Ministry registered 59 more COVID-19 fatalities, the lowest daily number in more than two months. 

France started the week with a drop in fatalities from the coronavirus.

A total of 131 new deaths were reported over the past day, a dramatic fall of 352 from Sunday.

Russia reported 8,926 more cases of the coronavirus, its lowest daily growth rate in new cases since the beginning of the month, taking the nation’s tally to 290,678. 

Libya 

The Libyan army retook the key airbase of Al-Watiya from warlord Khalifa Haftar’s militias. 

The strategic airbase was captured in 2014 by Haftar, who used it as a headquarters for attacks on the legitimate government. 

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj praised the country's retaking of Al-Watiya airbase from militias loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar.  

Al-Sarraj expressed his dissatisfaction over the European Union's policy towards crimes against civilians in his country.  

The Libyan army on Monday destroyed another air defense system of warlord Khalifa Haftar southwest of the capital.   

Other important developments 

The Yemeni army said early Tuesday that they have seized strategic military points in Nihm district east of the capital Sana’a and that 20 members of the Houthi militia have been killed. 

Israel’s ambassador to the US has reportedly been lobbying members of the Trump administration and Congress to convince them to give a green light to Tel Aviv to annex illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Prominent Saudi billionaire Saleh Abdullah Kamel died at the age of 79.  

The US Space Force successfully launched the mysterious X-37B space plane on its sixth mission.

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