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 reported 55,941 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily count in the country since the start of the pandemic. The cases included 2,316 symptomatic patients.

The nationwide death toll rose by 258 to 33,201. The latest figures showed that the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition rose to 2,615.

Turkey has administered over 18.2 million vaccine jabs since it began a mass vaccination campaign on Jan. 14, according to official figures.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Italian ambassador to condemn the Italian premier’s remarks on the country’s president. Mario Draghi earlier called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “dictator.”

Relations between Turkey and the EU are better in the wake of a bloc summit last December and the visit of two top EU officials to the capital Ankara this week.

Turkish security forces neutralized two YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria while they were plotting a terror attack in the Operation Euphrates Shield zone. Separately, at least 10 terrorists were neutralized in a joint operation by gendarmerie and special police forces in southeastern Turkey.

Among nine people Turkish security forces caught trying to illegally cross into Syria and Greece were two terrorist suspects: a member of Daesh [also known as ISIS] and a member of the FETO terrorist organization. In addition, at least 17 people were arrested over suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.

At least 64 asylum seekers were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard off Turkey’s Aegean province of Izmir. Later in the day, Turkey rescued 15 asylum seekers pushed back by Greek authorities into Turkish territorial waters in the Aegean Sea.

The imam at Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia mosque announced that he is stepping down from his duties to return to academic studies.

COVID-19 updates worldwide

India recorded a new all-time high of 126,789 coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours. The death toll reached 166,862, including 685 new fatalities.

Nigeria confirmed 110 new COVID-19 cases, up from 58 a day earlier, said the National Center for Disease Control.

Scientists in Brazil have discovered a new variant of the coronavirus that combines 18 mutations.

Pakistan reported 5,329 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest single-day number in the country since July 2020.

Poland reported 954 new deaths from the coronavirus, the highest single-day spike since the start of the pandemic.

Less than 2% of the 690 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to date globally have been in Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) office said.

Other global developments

France’s Senate approved the addition of a ban on religious practices in university corridors to a controversial bill to fight “Islamist separatism.”

Nearly 600 people in Myanmar have been killed since the military seized control in February.

In a pre-dawn raid, Israeli settlers seized control of three Palestinian-owned buildings and a piece of land in occupied East Jerusalem.

Developing-8 countries agreed to enhance trade cooperation and bring their domestic trade volumes to at least 10% of the organization’s total trade in the next 10 years. In the summit, leaders of the D-8 member states emphasized extending bilateral trade and investment to address the challenges in the post-pandemic era.

At least four civilians including two children were killed with two children severely injured in an attack by Bashar al-Assad regime forces in northwestern Idlib province.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the American economy is going through an uneven recovery and he hopes to see stronger employment figures.

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