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 on Sunday reported more than 20,400 new coronavirus cases, according to Health Ministry data.

A total of 20,428 cases, including 965 symptomatic patients, were confirmed across the country, the data showed.

The daily figure was slightly less than the 21,061 infections reported on Saturday, which included 958 symptomatic patients.

Meanwhile, Turkey responded late Sunday to international reactions following its decision to withdraw from a European treaty aimed at preventing and combating violence against women.

“The Republic of Turkey’s withdrawal from the treaty should not be interpreted as compromising on combating violence against women,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Turkey’s decision to withdraw from a European treaty on preventing violence against women does not mean that Turkey compromises protection of women, Turkey’s Communications Directorate said Sunday.

“The decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention by no means denotes that Turkiye [Turkey] ‘compromises the protection of women.’ The Turkish State has continuously stressed that the country will not give up on its fight against domestic violence by quitting the Convention,” the directorate said in a written statement on the country’s decision announced early on Saturday.

Senior European officials voiced regret over Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the treaty.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement that the Istanbul Convention was the first international legally binding instrument to combat violence against women and domestic violence.

“We cannot but regret deeply and express incomprehension towards the decision of the Turkish government to withdraw from this convention that even bears the name of Istanbul,” Borrell said, referring to the Turkish metropolitan city.

US President Joe Biden said Sunday that Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the treaty was “deeply disappointing.”

“Turkey’s sudden and unwarranted withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, is deeply disappointing,” Biden said in a written statement.

– COVID-19 updates worldwide

South Africa has sold doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine it acquired in February but did not use to 14 other African Union (AU) member states, the Health Ministry said Sunday.

South Africa halted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in February after a study revealed it was less effective against the South African variant of the coronavirus known as 501Y.V2.

South Africa’s president affirmed Sunday that his government was working to ensure that novel coronavirus vaccines are available for all of the country’s residents.

The country has so far vaccinated more than 180,000 health care workers, according to the Health Ministry, and hopes to speed up its inoculation campaign as it acquires more doses.

The European Union’s plan to directly donate coronavirus vaccines to poorer nations has been put on ice, a top EU official said Sunday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Germany’s Funke Media Group in an interview that EU member states are still facing problems obtaining vaccines for themselves due to production and delivery issues.

– Other global developments

At least one civilian was killed and two others injured on Sunday in airstrikes by Russian jets in northwestern Syria.

The attack, which an opposition observatory claimed was carried out by Russia, targeted an area near the M4 highway in the Bab al-Hawa border crossing area between the town of Sarmada in Idlib province on the Syrian side and Reyhanli district of Hatay province in southern Turkey.

In sports news, Fenerbahce bagged a 1-1 draw against Besiktas in Sunday’s Turkish Super Lig derby with a late equalizer at Vodafone Park.
Home team Besiktas took the lead in the 48th minute as Croatian central defender Domagoj Vida scored with a header.

In the 61st minute, Besiktas’ Cameroonian forward Vincent Aboubakar wasted a critical one-on-one chance as Fenerbahce’s Turkish goalkeeper Altay Bayindir saved the shot.

This season, Fenerbahce were thirsty for a derby victory against archrivals Besiktas and Galatasaray.

In the first half of the Super Lig, Fenerbahce lost to Besiktas 4-3 at Ulker Stadium.

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