ANKARA

Turkey has registered 180,448 UK variant cases of the novel coronavirus in 81 provinces, the country’s health minister said in a statement on Wednesday.

Following a meeting of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, Fahrettin Koca said the UK variant accounts for 75% of all cases in the country.

According to the statement on Twitter, the minister said Turkey has also detected 169 cases of the South African strain in 11 provinces, four cases of the Brazilian variant in two provinces, and two of the California-New York strain in one province.

About vaccine procurement, he said that besides the SinoVac and BioNTech, Turkey has new supply sources to speed up the vaccination drive.

“As a result of negotiations with different producers, Turkey soon will be able to purchase more COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.

He added that citizens will be able to choose between SinoVac and BioNTech jabs before being inoculated.

As many as 39,302 cases, including 1,401 symptomatic patients, were confirmed across the country in the last 24 hours.

Turkey’s overall case tally is now over 3.3 million, while the nationwide death toll has reached 31,537.

The country began a mass COVID-vaccination campaign on Jan. 14, and has since administered over 16.03 million jabs, according to official figures.

*Writing by Merve Berker

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