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 registered 31,923 coronavirus infections, including 6,690 symptomatic cases, over the past 24 hours, with the new symptomatic cases raising the overall case count to 513,656.

As many as 4,821 patients recovered over the past day, bringing the tally to 414,141, while the death toll rose to 14,129. More than 183,600 COVID-19 tests were conducted across the country in the period, pushing the total to over 18.95 million.

Turkey will be among the first countries in the world to begin vaccinating people for the coronavirus, with the first shipment of vaccines it has purchased to arrive in Ankara sometime after Dec. 11, said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

Turkey’s top diplomat on Wednesday reiterated the country’s position that it saw its future with the EU, but that before its accession could take place, existing issues would need to be overcome.

Turkey’s exports were down slightly on an annual basis in November due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU’s economic contraction and calendar effects, according to preliminary data released by Turkey’s Trade Ministry.

In November, 140 terrorists were “neutralized” in Turkey’s operations against the YPG/PKK terrorist organization.

Ruling anew in the wake of the truce in Nagorno-Karabakh, the European Court of Human Rights lifted a measure it previously ordered in a case Armenia had filed against Turkey.

Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and the US special envoy for Syria discussed the latest developments in the region, according to an official statement.

Global developments

New Zealand’s parliament declared a climate emergency in the country, according to state-run media. A majority of lawmakers supported the motion brought by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, which allows the country to join 32 other nations in formally acknowledging the global climate crisis.

The World Meteorological Organization’s provisional annual climate report said 2020 is on track to be one of the three warmest years on record after 2016 and 2019.

In a breakthrough development, the Afghan government and the Taliban confirmed that they had agreed on the procedure for intra-Afghan talks.

Global COVID-19 developments

The UK has become the first country to allow the use of the Pfizer/BioNtech coronavirus vaccine on the public after the country’s regulator clinically approved the jab on Wednesday.

Germany saw a new daily high for coronavirus deaths, although the number of new cases has stabilized. The Robert Koch Institute said 487 patients died from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 17,123 over the course of the pandemic.

The number of coronavirus cases in Poland passed the 1 million mark with 13,855 new infections reported in the last 24 hours.

Despite strict measures in place, the pandemic situation in Russia has kept setting new records in the mortality rate with 589 fatalities, the highest single-day count since the start of the outbreak, pushing the death toll to 41,053, the country’s emergency task force said in a report.

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government Wednesday to start mass vaccinations against the novel coronavirus in the country at the end of next week.

Italy will have to adopt strict restrictions over the Christmas holidays to avoid a third wave of the pandemic next year, Health Minister Roberto Speranza told parliament.

The EU on Wednesday introduced a new strategy to stem the spread of the coronavirus during the winter, especially in the holiday season.

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