Turkey records over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases as second peak hits Anatolia

Turkey on Saturdayreported 69 deaths and 2,091 new coronavirus patients, a day after the Health Ministry announced a second COVID-19 peak in the Anatolian heartland region, with a dangerous rise in the number of patients.

"The pandemic is in its second peak in Anatolia,’’ Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told a news conference following a meeting with local officials on Friday. "We are facing a risky increase.’’

The country’s total death toll from COVID-19 rose to 9,727 and the total number of patients stood at 359,784.

The increase in recent weeks in the number of infections, back to May levels before Turkey lifted outbreak restrictions, has prompted the country to cancel plans to reopen schools. 

Turkey is now looking to gradually open schools for students, after kindergartners and first graders began attending schools for in-class learning in September.

Istanbul’s provincial health directorate has rolled up its sleeves to prepare for an outbreak in the city after the health minister announced earlier in the week that close to 40 percent of cases were in the city of 16 million.

The directorate has prepared a document pertaining to the number of beds allotted for the pandemic in all of the city’s private hospitals, T24 news site reported.  

Meanwhile, the provincial directorate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has halted all its activities in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, Diken news site reported on Saturday.

The announcement arrives as the CHP mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu, announced he tested positive for the deadly virus.