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Morning Briefing - May 18, 2021

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

Ahmet Gençtürk   | 18.05.2021
Morning Briefing - May 18, 2021


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

Coronavirus and other developments in Turkey

Turkey reported a total of 10,174 cases, including 923 symptomatic patients, across the country on Monday.

Turkey’s overall case tally is now over 5.12 million, while the death toll reached 44,983 with 223 more fatalities over the past day.

According to the Health Ministry data, Turkey has administrated 431,483 doses of vaccine on Monday.

Turkey has administered over 26.22 million coronavirus jabs since launching a mass vaccination campaign on Jan. 14, according to official figures.

Turkey, with its entire population of 84 million, will continue to watch as events unfold in Jerusalem, the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Monday.
Erdogan also proposed the formation of a joint committee that would contain Muslim, Christian, and Jewish representatives.

At least 113 terrorists have been "neutralized" so far during Turkey’s recently launched cross-border Pence-Yildirim and Pence-Simsek anti-terror operations said Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Monday.

In a separate but related development, at least 10 terrorists were "neutralized" as part of anti-terror Operation Eren-13 in southeastern Turkey, said Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Furthermore, in the scope of Turkey’s war on PKK terrorist organization, the country’s security forces also on Monday “neutralized” Sofi Nurettin, the terror group’s prominent ringleader in Syria.

Turkish security forces on Monday seized over 1.5 tons of marijuana hidden in a ship off the coast of Syria.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry condemned a statement on Monday by the Austrian Interior Minister concerning the country’s president and protests on Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

A 15-day period of gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Turkey has started as of early Monday, as infections began falling thanks to a strict lockdown. 

Coronavirus developments worldwide

More than 1.47 billion coronavirus vaccine shots have so far been given worldwide, figures by the Our World in Data showed on Monday.
China is the most vaccinated country with over 406 million jabs, according to the data uploaded on the website. It is followed by the US with more than 273.55 million shots.

Portugal on Monday reopened its borders to non-essential travel with most European nations, including the UK.

Visitors from European countries with high infection rates – including Croatia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the Greek Cypriot administration – will remain excluded.

India’s daily coronavirus cases on Monday dropped below 300,000, the Health Ministry data showed. According to the ministry, 281,386 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the total cases to 24.96 million.

Pakistan's daily coronavirus cases jumped over 3,000 on Monday, signaling another rise in the ongoing third wave of the pandemic. The deaths due to the virus rose by 74, reaching 19,617, according to the country’s health ministry.

Israeli aggression against Palestinians

Continuing with its attacks on Palestinians, Israel shot a Palestinian on Monday in the occupied West Bank, raising the recent death toll to 22.

In the Gaza Strip, so far at least 212 Palestinians have been killed, including 61 children and 35 women, in Israeli attacks since last week, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 11,305 people have also been injured and dozens of buildings destroyed or damaged in the Israeli assault

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that Israeli strikes on densely-populated coastal enclave have left more than 2,500 people homeless after their houses were destroyed, and damaged 41 educational facilities including a UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) vocational center and higher education facility

In the face of Israeli attacks targeting Palestinian civilians, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Monday urged the UN to stop Israel's crimes against Palestinian children.

Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah II conveyed to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a phone call that the repeated Israeli actions and provocations against the Palestinian people have led to the current escalations.

Furthermore, Qatar on Monday urged the international community to force Israel to stop the "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday the country has asked Israel to explain the conditions and reasons behind conducting the airstrike against the building in Gaza that
housed media organizations.

Macron’s statement followed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s call demanding justification from Israel for destroying the building in an airstrike that housed the American news agency Associated Press (AP) and Al Jazeera.

Turkish football teams Besiktas and Fraport TAV Antalyaspor will also battle to lift the 2021 Ziraat Turkish Cup on Tuesday.

The Black Eagles seek a trophy double after winning the Super Lig title on goal differences in a nail-biting Saturday evening title race.

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