The Turkish Health Ministry has denied reports that 42 percent of the COVID-19 cases in Turkey are the omicron strain of the virus.
As of Dec. 1, a total of 3,073 of the 3,344 samples that were sequenced and entered into the official system were of the delta variant, and 42 were of the omicron variant, the ministry said in a statement on Dec. 27.
It said that the 42 cases were seen in the provinces of Istanbul (30), İzmir (6), Şırnak (1), Diyarbakır (1), Kütahya (2), and Isparta (2).
The ministry's statement came two days after Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that the omicron variant now accounts for more than 10 percent of all new COVID-19 positive cases.
"More than 10 percent of new cases in our crowded provinces are caused by omicron," Koca tweeted on Dec. 25.
Meanwhile, the ministry on Dec. 27 confirmed 26,099 new COVID-19 infections and 157 virus-related deaths.
More than 56.8 million people have received a first jab, while over 51.4 million have been fully vaccinated, the ministry said. Turkey has also given third booster shots to more than 17.6 million people.