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 8,962 new coronavirus infections, according to Health Ministry data.

Among the fresh cases were 958 symptomatic patients confirmed across the country, while the country’s overall case tally is around 2.36 million.

The nationwide death toll hit 23,495 with 170 new fatalities recorded over the past day.

A further 9,011 patients recovered in the country for a total above 2.23 million.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan got the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Health workers in Turkey started the first phase of a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Turkey sent 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), according to the country’s top health official.

At least 48 suspects were arrested as part of an operation against terrorist groups across Turkey, according to security sources.

A sit-in protest by families seeking the return of their children kidnapped by the YPG/PKK terror group entered its 500th day in Turkey.

COVID-19 updates worldwide

As authorities prepare to kick off a mass vaccination drive, Russia reported 24,763 more coronavirus cases, raising its overall count above 3.49 million.

The death toll in Sweden from the coronavirus hit 10,185 after 351 deaths were registered Thursday.

Italy reported 522 deaths from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 80,848.

South Africa reported 712 coronavirus-related deaths in a 24-hour period, bringing the total number of fatalities to 35,852, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.

European governments looked forward to speeding up their COVID-19 vaccination programs as a new variant of the coronavirus spread across the continent and daily infections continued to rise.

Spain introduced the Moderna vaccine to its arsenal against the coronavirus Thursday as the pandemic continued to spiral out of control across the country.

The Danish government decided to extend the coronavirus lockdown by three weeks until Feb. 7 due to concerns over a new variant of the virus.

France will impose a nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. effective Jan. 16 and will tighten border controls, including in overseas territories, requiring negative COVID-19 test results for non-EU travelers, the prime minister announced.

A World Health Organization (WHO) team of international experts arrived in China for an investigation aimed at ascertaining the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pope Francis got his first jab of a COVID-19 vaccine, local media reported.

Other developments

Pakistan and Turkey enjoy a unique and enviable relationship, Pakistan’s air chief told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

“Our relationship is unique and enviable, not only here in Pakistan and Turkey, but all across the world they look at us like that,” said Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan.

The United Arab Emirates approved a visa exemption agreement with Israel on Wednesday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

For the past several weeks, the air in Tehran and some other major metropolises across Iran has become irrespirable, with the pollution index touching dangerously high levels.

Sudan announced a ban on civil aviation in the airspace of Al-Qadarif state which borders Ethiopia, citing security reasons.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.