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 34.49 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 said.

More than 20.73 million people have gotten their first doses, while nearly 13.76 million have been fully vaccinated, according to ministry data.

Turkey reported 5,626 new coronavirus cases, including 428 symptomatic patients, over the last 24 hours. The number of new cases on Sunday was 5,012.

The country’s overall case tally is over 5.33 million, while the nationwide death toll has reached 48,795 with 74 new fatalities.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also announced on Twitter that vaccination appointments will begin for all employees affiliated with the Turkish Social Security Institution (SGK) as of Tuesday.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a number of closed-door meetings on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels.

A closed-door meeting between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron was held Monday on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a closed-door meeting Monday during the ongoing NATO summit.

Erdogan also met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

Turkey is important for the “security and stability of the Trans-Atlantic area,” Turkey’s president said Monday during a summit of NATO leaders.

In a video message to a panel at the NATO summit, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said terrorism is today one of “the obstacles to the establishment of stability.”

President Erdogan said Turkey did not get the support and solidarity it expected from its allies and partners in fighting terrorism.

Turkey and the US agreed to use direct channels of dialogue effectively and regularly, befitting the two allies and strategic partners, the Turkish president said Monday.

COVID-19 updates worldwide

Nearly 2.38 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines have been given worldwide so far, figures compiled by Our World in Data, a tracking website, showed Monday.

US pharmaceutical company Novavax said its COVID-19 vaccine has an overall efficacy of 90.4% against the coronavirus.

The number of people in Africa who contracted the coronavirus has crossed five million, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

India recorded 70,421 new cases of coronavirus infections, the lowest figure in 74 days, said the country’s Health Ministry.

Pakistan’s daily coronavirus tally continued to drop with the country recording 1,019 new cases over the past 24 hours, the lowest single-day figure since February, the Health Ministry said Monday.

Russia on Monday registered 13,721 new coronavirus cases — the first drop in 11 days, the country’s coronavirus emergency task force said.

Masks may not be obligatory outdoors in France from next month when most health restrictions will be lifted, the country’s top health official said Monday.

 Other global developments

The NATO summit gathering heads of member states and governments began Monday in Brussels.

NATO has opened a new chapter in its history at the leaders’ summit in Brussels, the secretary-general said Monday.

The NATO article on collective defense is a “sacred obligation,” US President Joe Biden said Monday.

“NATO is Article Five, and you take it as a sacred obligation,” Biden told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who welcomed him at the NATO leaders’ summit.

US President Joe Biden said he had a “very good meeting” with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.

Moreover, the US president described his first face-to-face meeting with his Turkish counterpart as “positive and productive,” saying the two countries will make progress on bilateral relations.

NATO leaders have agreed to increase contributions to “the tailored assurance measures” for Turkey, according to a communique released after Monday’s NATO summit in Brussels.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would back the overhaul of the NATO Strategic Concept in a bid to better confront security challenges, notably Russia and China.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called for “concrete” support from the NATO alliance during a phone call with the UK’s premier.

Arlene Foster formally stepped down as Northern Ireland’s first minister on Monday.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev held discussions Monday with Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for reconciliation in Afghanistan, on prospects of an “enhanced” bilateral relationship amid the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the war-torn country.

Alternate Israeli Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid vowed that Israel will prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Terrorist charges were laid against the man suspected of killing the Afzaal family in the city of London, Ontario province, Canadian government prosecutors announced in court Monday.

Egypt’s Court of Appeal on Monday upheld the death penalty for 12 members of the Muslim Brotherhood convicted in the Rabaa sit-in case, according to state-run media.

The UN special envoy for Syria “strongly” condemned an attack over the weekend on a hospital in Afrin, northern Syria in which at least 14 civilians lost their lives.

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