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 10,220 coronavirus infections and 179 fatalities over the past 24 hours, according to Health Ministry data.

With the new cases, which included 1,003 symptomatic patients, the total number of infections exceeded 2.33 million.

As many as 10,301 people also recovered in the past day, bringing the tally to over 2.20 million, while the death toll climbed to 22,981.

Turkey will begin vaccine jabs for COVID-19 by this weekend, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Additionally, the country will roll out its coronavirus vaccine this summer, the country’s head of vaccine development said.

The 61st round of exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece will restart in Istanbul two weeks from today, Turkey announced.

Turkey’s defense minister strongly rejected his French counterpart’s claims about Turkey, saying Paris was confused and certainly mistaken about alleged “harassment” last year at sea.

Rebuffing Florence Parly’s comments alleging that “a French vessel was harassed” by Turkey last June, Hulusi Akar said “the French defense minister must have mixed up the incidents.”

Turkey’s Competition Authority opened an investigation into Facebook and WhatsApp and suspended their new data sharing rules.

COVID-19 updates worldwide

Russia reported 23,315 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, up from 22,851 cases the previous day, the country’s emergency task force said.

Spain saw a huge jump in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations over the weekend, with the Health Ministry reporting 61,422 new cases.

Italy reported 448 new coronavirus-related deaths, up from 361 a day before, as the government studied new measures to avert a third wave of the contagion.

With 1,219 new infections, COVID-19 cases in Japan’s capital Tokyo crossed 76,000 as the country detected a coronavirus variant different from that in Britain and South Africa.

China announced that a team of foreign experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) would be visiting the country to probe the origins of the novel coronavirus next Thursday.

South Korea announced that it will begin COVID-19 vaccination from February as the country expects to receive the first batch of vaccines in the coming weeks, according to local media.

Indonesia will begin COVID-19 vaccination this week and President Joko Widodo will be the country’s first vaccine recipient.

Meanwhile, the country also enforced strict restrictions on the islands of Java and Bali for the next two weeks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Over 2.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to nearly 2.3 million people in Britain, but the public must continue to follow coronavirus restrictions, the nation’s health secretary said.

The first batch of COVID-19 jabs from Chinese vaccine manufacturing company Sinopharm will arrive in Pakistan by the first week of February, a top Pakistani official told Anadolu Agency.

The German pharma company BioNTech announced that it is boosting its manufacturing capacity to be able to supply 2 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine this year.

Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement from the country’s Presidency.

Moreover, Colombia’s foreign minister tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Other developments

US President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team wants to develop a good relationship with Ankara, said Turkey’s presidential spokesman.

Tensions between Iran and South Korea over the seizure of an oil tanker in the Gulf escalated Monday after talks between the two sides failed to produce a breakthrough.

At least three people were killed while more than 62,000 others were evacuated as a result of heavy rains in southern Thailand, authorities said.

Israel has named its former ambassador to Egypt, David Goffrin, as its temporary charge d’affaires in Morocco, the Public Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Additionally, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the construction of 800 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

Meeting two months after a cease-fire was declared for the Caucasus’ Nagorno-Karabakh region that ended over a month of conflict, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a pact Monday to develop economic ties and infrastructure to benefit the entire region.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates reopened airspace to Qatar as of Monday for the first time since 2017 following an agreement to heal their rift.

Pope Francis changed the Catholic Church’s law to formally allow women to serve as readers at liturgies as well as altar servers and Eucharistic ministers.

In an apparent parting shot to its conservative base, the Trump administration on Monday re-designated Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism, claiming that Havana grants safe harbor to international terrorists.

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