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, other developments in Turkey

Turkey’s health minister on Sunday announced more than 1,000 new recoveries from COVID-19, bringing the total to 251,105. The country has so far reported nearly 280,000 cases and the death toll rose to 6,673 as 53 more people succumbed to the disease.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Libya’s prime minister, and the two discussed the latest developments, regional issues and bilateral ties. The Turkish leader said his country’s top priority was to ensure stability in Libya.

Libya’s Government of National Accord, founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement in the wake of the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, has faced a number of challenges, including attacks by forces loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar.

In recent months, however, it has turned the tide against Haftar’s militias.

Turkey supports the government based in the capital Tripoli and a non-military resolution of the crisis.

The Ministry of National Defense announced that at least 91 PKK/YPG terrorists were “neutralized” in Iraq and Syria over the course of 10 days.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terrorist operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable peaceful settlement by locals: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also reacted to France over a textbook to be used in French high schools which includes propaganda from the YPG/PKK terrorist organization.

The Ministry of National Defense said in a Twitter post that Turkey will resolutely continue exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean region, where tensions have recently escalated between Turkey and Greece.

Meanwhile, President Erdogan also spoke to European Council President Charles Michel by phone and discussed developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and bilateral relations with the EU.

Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also embarked on a five-day exercise — Mediterranean Storm — in an effort to demonstrate their will to stand against those seeking to violate the rights of Turks in the region.

– Culture, others

Scientists in Turkey unearthed a 2,400-year-old mask of the Greek god Dionysus in Balikesir province, with the exploration team saying it was one of this year’s “most interesting findings.”

A millennium-old Armenian church, the Armenian Akdamar Church of the Holy Cross, celebrated a special mass in Eastern Turkey amid precautionary measures due to the coronavirus.

– Coronavirus outbreak worldwide

India reported more than 90,000 coronavirus cases Sunday, bringing its total number of infections to 4.1 million. The country is expected to surpass Brazil in terms of infections should the upward trend continue.

Pakistan recorded two deaths due to the disease Sunday, the lowest single-day fatality number since the surge of the pandemic, said health officials.

Brazil and Mexico continue to report more COVID-19 deaths and cases, with the former’s death toll reaching over 126,000 while the latter reported total of over 67,000 deaths with 475 additions in the past 24 hours.

South Africa reported 1,633 new cases, bringing the nationwide caseload to 638,517, said the country’s health minister. The country’s infections neared 640,000, while the death toll rose to nearly 15,000.

The virus has claimed over 881,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in Wuhan, China in December, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Nearly 27 million infections have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 18 million.

The US, Brazil and India are currently the worst-hit countries.

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