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Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing – Feb.18, 2021

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

Ahmet Gençtürk   | 18.02.2021
Anadolu Agency's Morning Briefing – Feb.18, 2021

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.

Coronavirus and other developments in Turkey

Turkey registered over 7,300 infections and an excess of 7,200 recoveries.

According to Health Ministry data, the country's case tally passed 2.6 million, with recoveries nearly 2.5 million.

The death toll from the virus reached 27,238, with 86 additional fatalities.

Meanwhile, Turkey has so far administered nearly 5.7 million coronavirus vaccine jabs across the country.

Over 4.87million people to date have received their first doses of the vaccine, while second vaccine doses were given to over 829,000.

President Erdogan said Turkey will gradually start easing restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the virus as of March. Accordingly, provinces in the country will be divided into four categories as “low,” “medium,” “high,” and “very high-risk” based on infection rates and the vaccination process.

In his address following the Cabinet meeting, Erdogan also stated that Turkey has “neutralized” 17,750 terrorists, including senior figures, over last the five years.

Separately, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar held a phone call with British Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace during which they exchanged views on bilateral and regional defense, and security relations, as well as cooperation in the defense industry.

Turkey arrested at least four senior Daesh/ISIS terror suspects in operations conducted in southern and southwestern parts of the country. The country also detained five PKK terror suspects in the southeastern Batman province.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the armed attack in Nigeria, in which one student was killed and 40 students and teachers were abducted.


COVID-19 updates worldwide

The global tally for infections surpassed 109.8 million, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

The European Commission approved a new contract with the US-based biotechnology firm Moderna to buy 300 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses. The EU also plans to buy an additional 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from BioNTech, the company announced.

South Africa started vaccinating health workers against the coronavirus.


Other global developments

Saudi Arabia offered to mediate between Sudan and Ethiopia in the dispute over the latter’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project which the former vehemently opposes.

Authorizing its use, Uzbekistan decided to order 1 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

Citing the security and coronavirus situation in Pakistan, India denied permission to a group of Sikh pilgrims who wanted to visit Pakistan.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the recent killing of 13 Turkish nationals by PKK terrorists in northern Iraq.

Alexandr Lavrentyev, Russia's presidential envoy for Syria, said Syria’s moderate opposition can contribute to easing tensions in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

In Somalia, 14-member technical committee appointed by the government and regional leaders to resolve the current election stalemate said that all contentious issues had been resolved.

Libya marked the tenth anniversary of the 2011 revolution which ended 42 years of rulership under Muammar Gaddafi.

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