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Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing - April 15, 2020

Daily briefing regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic around world and Turkey, and other developments

Ali Murat Alhas   | 15.04.2020
Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing - April 15, 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.

With more than 1.98 million confirmed cases and over 126,000 deaths across the globe, the coronavirus disease continues to dominate the international agenda as countries are struggling to deal with medical, social and economic burdens of the pandemic.

The coronavirus death toll in Turkey has climbed to 1,403 and there are over 65,000 confirmed cases in the country, which has been seeing a downward trend as of fourth week of the outbreak, according to the Turkish health minister.

Currently, near 13,000 Turkish nationals, brought back from abroad, are in quarantine whereas over 20,400 expats have already left dormitories used for isolation.

In an effort to stem spread of the virus, some entrepreneurs in Turkey came up with a contact-tracing application to detect coronavirus patients and religious authorities drew attention to importance of social distancing ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Given that the virus puts the elderly at higher risk, their stories of recovery warm hearts even more; a 107-year-old Turkish woman beat the virus, becoming a source of inspiration to many others.

In addition to the elderly, those with respiratory problems are also known to be at higher risk of coronavirus. Despite that Turkish miners are confident.

Turkey has remained as one of the most generous donor of humanitarian aid for years, the coronavirus pandemic has been yet another stage in which Ankara demonstrated its goodwill and cooperation-based approach to a crisis.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hailed Turkey for its efforts to support the African nation's fight against COVID-19. Apart from medical equipment, the Turkish government donated sewing machines and materials to Serbia so they could produce their own masks and gears. Turkey also backs the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in combatting the disease.

Sasha Toperich, writing for the Hill news website, commented on Turkey's aid activities amid the outbreak, saying the country "has proven itself as a key supporter of world effort."

While extending a hand to friendly countries, Turkish foreign minister was critical of the UNSC for its “late” response to COVID-19; he also called on international community to help Syrians, who are more vulnerable to the virus due to the civil war.

Coronavirus across globe

Spain, where over 18,000 people lost their lives due to the virus, is believed to have reached the peak of the outbreak, whereas Germany has not been able to contain the virus despite progress.

France, for its part, reported 764 new deaths, bringing total to more than 15,700; on the other hand, the U.K. death toll tallies over 12,000.,

While Belgium and the Netherlands reported 4,000 and 3,000 deaths respectively, the situation in Europe does not look that promising as the World Health Organization (WHO) says the disease has not peaked in either Europe or the U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who defended his handling of the outbreak in the country, where over 26,000 people have lost their lives so far, said Washington halted funding to WHO amid the pandemic.

The death toll in Russia neared 200 and registered cases topped 20,000 as President Vladimir Putin said the country was yet to reach peak cases.

The cases continued to rise across Africa and the Middle East.

The death toll of Iran stands over 4,600 and Saudi Arabia also witnessed the loss of 73 citizens to the virus. Many Arab countries, such as Oman, Bahrain and Libya, reported more COVID-19 cases.

Israeli cases topped 12,000 and the death toll stands over 123. Tel Aviv imposed a complete shutdown for end of Passover.

China, where the virus first originated, has reported 89 new cases but the country apparently has a new problem, racism, as the Kenyan Foreign Ministry warned its citizens were among the many Africans hit by a wave of racial attacks amid the pandemic.

As part of coronavirus measures, India and New Zealand extended lockdown and state of emergency.

Vaccination efforts

Scientists are racing to find a cure to the disease that has claimed tens of thousands of lives worldwide.

Turkey, for its part, completed the first phase of vaccination efforts whereas animal trials are to be started within some four months. Italian and British team hopes to have vaccination in September and Chinese scientists approved human trials of two vaccines.

Given that it will obviously take some time for scientists to come up with a vaccine, we all should be ultra-cautious about contracting the virus and take necessary measures, as even a single patient could infect hundreds.

Beware of ‘misinfo-demic’

As coronavirus conspiracy theories draw attention of many, whether they be true or not, UN secretary-general called on people to have common sense and beware of a “misinfo-demic”.

Are you trolling people online with your fake coronavirus stories? Think twice now if you are in Zimbabwe for you might serve 20 years in prison for fake stories. Desperate times, desperate measures, eh?

Conflict and refugee report

Turkish security forces continue its battle against terrorism with four "neutralized" on Tuesday in separate operations held in Diyarbakir and Sirnak provinces.

The UN-recognized administration of Libya, the Government of National Accord (GNA) made significant gains against the renegade commander Khalifa Haftar, leader of illegal armed forces in eastern Libya.

Human Rights Watch initiated a campaign for the release of hundreds of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Greece locked up in "unhygienic" police cells.

In Egypt, security forces raided a "terror cell" in Cairo. The clashes left seven "terrorists" and an officer dead.

Life

If you are one of those getting tired of technology taking over your life, you might wanna check our feature on the significance of digital detox amid pandemic. You cannot do without your beloved phones or TV? Then, you should check out Turkish movie "Miracle in cell no. 7", which even made football superstar Neymar burst into tears!

Sports

Just like many other sectors, sports have severely been hampered by the virus issue as well; the recovery process of sportsmen has been under threat as the rehabilitation process is disrupted.

NBA superstar Russell Westbrook can not cheer fans up with his explosive dunks as the league is currently suspended due to the virus, but he was the MVP in the eyes of children to whom he donated computers.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
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