Turkey tops Europe for COVID-19 infections as cases reach record high

COVID-19 cases in Turkey hit a daily 49,584 on Tuesday, the highest figure since the beginning of the pandemic.

Daily infections have doubled in a little over two weeks, meaning Turkey now tops European countries for daily infections and ranks second worldwide after India, according to data provided by Worldometer.

Worldometer April 6

The total number of cases in the country of 85 million rose to 3.58 million on Tuesday, the Health Ministry said. It reported 211 new fatalities in the last 24 hours, pushing up the death toll to 32,667.

Turkey's coronavirus figures for April 6

Infections in Turkey have surged after the authorities eased restrictions on the population on March 1, when daily cases stood at less than 10,000. The authorities lifted weekend lockdowns in areas deemed at low and medium risk and allowed restaurants and cafes to reopen, including in Istanbul, the country’s largest city. Some of the curbs have now been reinstated.

Turkey began a mass vaccination campaign on Jan. 14.  Since then, 10.35 million people have received a first dose of the jab, while 7.33 million second doses have been administrated, according to the Health Ministry.

The surge in infections threatens government plans to attract tourists to the country. Tourism revenue provides essential hard cash for a country suffering from a slump in the value of its currency. The lira has dropped by almost 10 percent against the dollar over the past month.