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 has administered over 33.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in mid-January, including first doses to nearly one-fourth of the country’s population of some 83.6 million, the Health Ministry announced Sunday.
More than 20 million people have gotten their first doses, while nearly 13.7 million have been fully vaccinated, according to ministry data.
During the last week, over 3 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered in Turkey.
Turkey reported 5,012 new coronavirus cases, including 454 symptomatic patients, over the last 24 hours. The number of new cases on Saturday was 6,076.
The country’s total case tally is over 5.33 million, while the nationwide death toll has reached 48,721 with 53 new fatalities.
Turkey has lowered the vaccine eligibility age to 40, the country’s health minister announced Sunday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived Sunday in Brussels to attend Monday’s NATO summit at which the leaders of alliance member countries will take part.
Erdogan on Sunday met with the leaders of NATO member countries in Brussels as part of his bilateral talks ahead of the summit.
Erdogan held separate talks with Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Latvian President Egils Levits.
In the wake of a deadly terrorist attack on a hospital, Turkey on Sunday hit YPG/PKK terror targets in Syria’s Tal Rifat region and neutralized many terrorists, according to security sources.
Saturday’s hospital attack originated from terrorists in Tal Rifat.
A terrorist wanted with a red notice was among a dozen people arrested while trying to enter Turkey, the National Defense Ministry said Sunday.
The group was held by Turkish security forces in southern Hatay province, which borders Syria, while trying to cross into Turkey illegally.
Turkish forces “neutralized” five more PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, the National Defense Ministry said Sunday.
The terrorists were “neutralized” as part of operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim, the ministry said on Twitter.
At least 14 suspects were detained in Istanbul over their suspected links to the Daesh/ISIS terror group and conflict zones, a security source said Sunday.
– COVID-19 updates worldwide
In a closing declaration Sunday, the G7 summit in the UK committed to share at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
On COVID-19 vaccines, the G7 final communique said: “Total G7 commitments since the start of the pandemic provide for a total of over 2 billion vaccine doses, with the commitments since we last met in February 2021, including here in Carbis Bay, providing for one billion doses over the next year.”
“Taken together, the dose equivalent of our financial contributions and our direct dose sharing mean that the G7’s commitments since the start of the pandemic provide for a total of over 2 billion vaccine doses,” it added.
Partners for the COVAX initiative on Sunday welcomed a commitment by G7 countries to share at least 870 million doses, but the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said more doses are needed with faster delivery.
“COVAX welcomes dose sharing commitments for 870 million additional doses to support equitable access to vaccines in 2021 and 2022, with the aim to deliver at least half by the end of 2021,” the WHO said in a statement.
WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said, however, “We welcome the generous announcements about donations of vaccines and thank leaders. But we need more, and we need them faster.”
– Other global developments
The US on Sunday condemned an attack by the YPG/PKK terror group on a hospital in opposition-held northern Syria which killed at least 14 civilian patients and injured dozens.
Right-wing politician Naftali Bennett on Sunday secured the required Knesset votes to become Israel’s new prime minister, paving the way to ending the 12-year reign of Premier Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bennett, 49, is known for his hardline stance against the Palestinians, as he has repeatedly expressed opposition to the idea of creating an independent Palestinian state.
After Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas forged an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire to end Israeli attacks on Gaza last month that killed 254 Palestinians, Bennett and Netanyahu’s rival in the main opposition – Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid – agreed to form a coalition.
After Bennett changed the name of his Jewish Home Party to Yamina in 2018, the party was part of the Netanyahu-led coalition. It won seven seats in the general elections of March 23.
Under an agreement between Bennett and Lapid, Bennett will assume the premiership for the first two years, followed by Lapid.
Palestinian resistance group Hamas said Sunday that it does not foresee any positive changes from Israel’s post-Netanyahu government, with other leaders saying they expect the new government to be even worse.
Algeria’s Movement of Society for Peace, the country’s largest Islamist party, said Sunday that its candidates had topped the results of parliamentary polls both inside and outside the country, warning against “attempts to change the results.”
The claim of a win came ahead of any official results from Saturday’s polls.
Algeria on Sunday revoked the accreditation of a French state-run news channel, claiming the channel has an anti-Algerian bias.
Ammar Belhimer, the communications minister and government spokesperson, told Algeria’s official news agency that the decision was made due to France 24’s “clear and repeated enmity by the channel towards our country and its institutions.”
Novak Djokovic, the world number one in men’s tennis, won the 2021 French Open title Sunday, with the Serbian superstar coming back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen is stable and in hospital “for further examination” after he collapsed on the football pitch during a EURO 2020 game against Finland on Saturday, the Danish Football Union (DBU) said Sunday.
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