Anadolu Agency’s Morning Briefing – March 30, 2021

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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

Daily coronavirus cases in Turkey rose over the past day to reach 32,404 on Monday, pushing its overall tally above 3.24 million.

The daily infections included 1,325 symptomatic patients, according to the Health Ministry.

With 154 more fatalities, the nationwide COVID-19 death toll has reached 31,230.

The country has so far administered more than 15 million coronavirus vaccine jabs across the country, according to official figures Monday.

The Health Ministry data showed that over 8.4 million people to date have received their first doses of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, while second vaccine doses were given to more than 6.6 million.

Facing a growing number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities, Turkey will continue to impose partial restrictions to stem the virus’ spread, the nation’s president said Monday.

The nationwide curfew from 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m. will continue, said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adding that as a public health measure, all restaurants and cafes in the country will operate at a maximum 50% capacity.

Erdogan also announced that the country is preparing for a new law for better water management. He made the announcement at the launch of a new Water Council.

Stressing that Turkey needs to renew agricultural irrigation systems, he said the country should use its existing resources more efficiently by encouraging water conservation.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry announced that Turkish and Azerbaijani nationals will be able to travel passport-free between the two countries as of April 1.

In the sports world, the Turkish Football Federation said that Tuesday’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier match between Turkey and Latvia in Istanbul will be played behind closed doors for public health reasons.

The match will be held without fans, as even a limited number of fans could be risky now, when new measures might be taken against the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 updates worldwide

England on Monday started to normalize from its tight COVID-19 restrictions that had been in place since before Christmas.

Under the new rules, people will be allowed to gather in groups of six to socialize in parks and private gardens, with sports pitches, courts and outdoor swimming pools to be reopened and organized team sports to resume starting on Monday.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh registered a record 5,180 COVID-19 cases, forcing the government to impose a partial lockdown in areas with a high rate of infections, the Health Ministry said.

The overall caseload has risen to 600,895, including 8,949 related deaths.

After Prime Minister Imran Khan was infected with COVID-19 earlier in March, Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi and Defense Minister Pervez Khattak also tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

India surpassed a grim milestone of 12 million COVID-19 infections Monday, with the country registering 68,020 new cases over the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.

Ethiopia on Monday enforced strict coronavirus measures, banning travelers with COVID-19 positive status from entering the country for an indefinite time following last week’s Health Ministry statement that the country was grappling with an “alarming” increase in the number of cases.

In a first, the Philippines’ daily coronavirus cases exceeded the 10,000-mark, pushing the total caseload to 731,894, the health department said Monday.

Other global developments

The MV Ever Given, a massive container ship that has been blocking the Suez Canal for six days, was successfully re-floated early Monday, said Egyptian shipping authorities.

After the days-long crisis, traffic in the Suez Canal has gone back to normal, said the head of the canal authority Monday.

In Myanmar, as many as 459 people have been killed in a military crackdown against anti-coup protests, a human rights group said Monday.

According to a report by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, the victims include children and teachers as well as youths.

Meanwhile, China’s leading technology company Xiaomi jointly launched a production facility in Istanbul on Monday with supply giant Salcomp.

The firm had announced its plan to open a factory in Turkey with an investment of $30 million in February. Turkey is the fourth country in the world where the brand has production plants.

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