ANKARA

The World Health Organization (WHO) praised Turkey’s efforts Saturday to curb the novel coronavirus, stressing it tripled daily number of tests since August. 

“The WHO Regional Office for Europe finds it commendable that Turkey has enhanced its daily testing capacity since August 2020, triplicating it compared to April this year by including testing of asymptomatic individuals in line with its pandemic prevention and control strategy,” WHO Turkey said in a statement.

“This has enabled the health system to reach more people, including those showing no symptoms. At-risk individuals, suspected and probable cases and close contacts of a confirmed person have been prioritized for testing,” it added.

The statement stressed that testing is a critical public health measure to understand where COVID-19 is and take action to contain it, particularly tracing contacts and isolating positive cases.

“Turkey has been isolating all COVID-19 positive cases, regardless of their symptoms; this is recommended to break the chain of transmission,” it said.

Turkey reported 1,442 new coronavirus patients Friday with 1,506 recoveries. A total of 63 more fatalities were also reported.

A total of 114,857 more coronavirus tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, pushing that number to more than 10.6 million.

Across the world, COVID-19 has claimed more than 1 million lives in 188 countries and regions since last December.

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

More than 34.4 million cases have been reported, with recoveries exceeding 23.9 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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