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 

At a news conference following a meeting of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 1,303 new cases confirmed in the past day brought the tally to date to 253,108. 


A total of 1,002 more patients also recovered in the past 24 hours, pushing the number of recoveries to 233,915, while the death toll reached 6,039 as 23 more people lost their lives, he added.  

Turkey’s daily COVID-19 test count will reach 100,000 within days, he said, as healthcare professionals have done as many as 87,223 tests daily to diagnose the virus, bringing the grand total to more than 5.9 million.  

The second prototype of Turkey’s domestically made smart combat drone has successfully passed the 20,000-feet (6,096-meter) altitude test, its Istanbul-based manufacturer announced Wednesday.  

The Bayraktar Akinci Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) completed the test in nearly two-and-a-half hours, manufacturer Baykar said on Twitter. 

Meanwhile, Seven Turkish companies have made this year’s list of the world’s top 100 defense firms.

Every year, US-based Defense News magazine lists the most prestigious defense industry companies globally based on sales versus the previous year. Turkish defense firms reported record-breaking turnover in the period, catapulting them to the top ranks. 

Turkey’s foreign minister and the head of NATO spoke by phone Wednesday about the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as Libya, said an alliance statement. Mevlut Cavusoglu and Jens Stoltenberg spoke about Turkey’s energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey has launched a new anti-terror operation in its eastern Bingol province, the Interior Ministry announced Wednesday. 

In a statement, the ministry said Operation Yildirim-6 has begun to completely eliminate the separatist terror group PKK and neutralize those taking shelter in the region. 

Global coronavirus developments 

US coronavirus cases exceeded 5.5 million Wednesday, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. 

The Maryland university’s tally counted 5,505,074 confirmed infections and nearly 172,500 deaths, while around 1.9 million people have recovered from the disease since it first appeared. 

Cuba will begin the first stage of a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine Aug. 24, officials said Wednesday. The Finlay Vaccine Institute registered a clinical trial for one of its candidates at the Cuban Public Registry of Clinical Trials. The SOBERANA 01 trial is on phase I and II and involves 676 volunteers between the ages of 19 and 80. 

Over 6,600 more COVID-19 infections were reported in Spain on Wednesday, reaffirming that the country has again become one of the worst-affected regions in the world. Spain’s Health Ministry confirmed a total of 6,680 more cases, raising the country’s overall count to 370,867. 

A decline in new COVID-19 infections seems to be confirmed, but limitations on public life need to continue, Belgium’s Interfederal Crisis Center said Wednesday. A daily average of 527.7 coronavirus cases was registered between Aug. 9 and Aug. 15, according to the latest reports from the country’s public health institute Sciensano. 

Jordanian authorities decided Wednesday to close the al-Omari border crossing with Saudi Arabia after recording around 18 coronavirus cases among the terminal’s workers. 

Researchers in the Philippines are working to see the possible use of saliva as a sample for coronavirus testing. Maria Rosario Vergeire, a health department official, said Wednesday that Filipino researchers were working on the “method of collecting saliva samples for almost a month now,” the Philippine Star daily reported. 

South Korean officials on Wednesday warned of a new wave of the novel coronavirus as the country reported 297 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily infections since March. 

Greece reported 269 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, the highest single-day rise since the start of the outbreak. 

Other global developments 

At least 45 irregular migrants, including five children, died when their boat’s engine exploded in waters off Libya’s Mediterranean coast, the UN said Wednesday.  

The incident, which occurred on Aug. 17, was the largest recorded shipwreck off the Libyan coast so far this year, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement.  

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he has directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to inform the UN Security Council that the US intends to “snap back” international sanctions on Iran lifted as part of a 2015 nuclear deal.  

Trump said the action is “a snap back, not uncommon,” even as it has been met with stiff opposition from key Security Council members. 

The European Union condemned an attempted coup in Mali on Tuesday, saying it would reject all unconstitutional change in the country. The statement came after Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and several government officials were arrested by mutinying soldiers. 

The African Union has suspended Mali’s membership after soldiers on Tuesday ousted the nation’s president and his government. 

The Pan-African body’s Peace and Security Council said Wednesday that the suspension would remain in effect until the restoration of constitutional order in the West African nation. 

Palestine’s top political groups Fatah and Hamas on Wednesday slammed the UAE-Israel deal as a “stab in the back and an obliteration of the [Palestinian] cause.” 

Hundreds of Palestinians attended a public rally where figures from the two main groups reaffirmed their opposition to the UAE’s move to normalize ties with Israel.

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