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Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing – May 21, 2020

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

Gözde Bayar   | 21.05.2020
Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing – May 21, 2020


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

Virus in Turkey

As the Turkish public largely followed preventive measures against the novel coronavirus, daily cases in Turkey fell under 1,000 on Wednesday for the first time since March 25.

The Health Ministry announced that a total of 113,987 people have recovered from the illness so far, while the death toll reached 4,222 with 23 more fatalities.

The country registered 972 new cases, bringing the total to 152,587, while the number of active cases dropped to 34,378.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said when daily numbers of coronavirus cases fall below 1,000, this drop would be an indicator of success.

As part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, at least 9,700 Turkish citizens are in quarantine at dormitories across 76 provinces.

A total of 66,322 people have been released from coronavirus quarantine in Turkey.

Coronavirus continues hurting world

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that in the past 24 hours 106,000 COVID-19 cases were reported globally, the largest single-day figure since the start of the outbreak.

The global death toll from the novel coronavirus passed the 325,000 mark, while the number of cases hit 4.95 million, according to a running tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, more than 1.7 million people worldwide have recovered from COVID-19.

The US is the hardest-hit by the global pandemic with more than 1.5 million cases and over 92,600 fatalities.

Russia, which follows the US in case numbers, confirmed that the total number of its cases had exceeded the 300,000 mark.

Brazil's death toll from the coronavirus neared the 18,000 mark, confirming 275,087 cases and 17,971 fatalities.

After neighboring countries like Colombia and Paraguay took actions against Brazil's open borders out of fear of a worsening coronavirus outbreak, the US is also considering imposing a halt on all travel coming from Latin America and Brazil.

Meanwhile, Spain reported less than 100 COVID-19 deaths for the fourth day. The country registered 95 more deaths and 416 new infections.

Additionally, Spain expects to open its tourism sector to international visitors this summer, the country's transport minister has said.

The UK confirmed 363 deaths from the virus in 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 35,704. A leading scientist criticized a government minister for blaming scientific advice for government mistakes.

Italy reported 161 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 32,330, as the government survived a key political test. The country confirmed that the peak of the outbreak has passed.

France continued its downward trend as the number of fatalities dropped again over the prior day. The country confirmed 122 more deaths, including 110 in hospitals and 12 in nursing homes.

The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus rose to 7,183 as 64 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

Terrorism and other developments

Turkey condemned a terrorist attack by Boko Haram in Nigeria that took place in Borno and Yobe states on May 19, claiming many lives and leaving several injured.

Turkey also denounced a terror attack in southeastern Niger which targeted the Blabrine military base in the Diffa region, claiming the lives of 12 soldiers and leaving 10 injured.

Turkey’s defense minister announced that a total of 1,411 terrorists have been neutralized in Syria and northern Iraq as part of Turkey’s cross-border counterterrorism operations since the start of 2020.

On Wednesday, Turkish jets “neutralized” at least four PKK terrorists in northern Iraq. PKK terrorists often take shelter in northern Iraq to plan cross-border terrorist attacks in Turkey.

Abdul Nasser Qardash, said to be among the successors of the Daesh/ISIS terrorist organization's deceased ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was captured in Iraq.

Turkish and Russian forces stationed in Syria conducted their 12th joint patrol in line with the Moscow agreement in early March.

Turkey termed Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank and Jordan Valley region of Palestine as an "extension of its occupation policy."

Boasting an unparalleled flight network stretching across 127 countries with a fleet of 361 aircraft, Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines is celebrating its 87th anniversary in the skies.

Libya destroyed at least five Russian-made Pantsir-type air defense systems used by militias loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Libyan army continues advancing towards al-Asaba to liberate it from the Haftar militia.

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