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Turkey's COVID-19 numbers at record levels for second day

Police officers patrol Istiklal street, the main shopping street in Istanbul, minutes into the lockdown, part of the new measures to try curb the spread of the coronavirus, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020.

EMRAH GUREL/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: November 22, 2020

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey saw a record number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 for the second day running on Sunday as 6,017 new symptomatic patients were documented, the health ministry said.

The number of new daily cases are now running at higher levels than the outbreak's previous peak in April.

Evening lockdowns were introduced over the weekend for the first time since June, with businesses such as restaurants and bars ordered to close.

The ministry said a total of 446,882 patients with symptoms had been identified since the country's first recorded case in March. Turkey doesn't publicly report confirmed coronavirus cases in people without COVID-19 symptoms, a policy that has been criticized for masking the true scope of the national outbreak.

"Let's follow the precautions for our loved ones," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted, referring to hand-washing, distancing and mask-wearing measures.

Turkey recorded 139 COVID-19 deaths over the previous 24 hours, taking the country's total to 12,358, the health ministry reported.