Turkey halts flights from Brazil due to COVID-19 variant

Turkey has suspended flights from Brazil due to the rise in the cases of the COVID-19 variant, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Jan. 22. Koca noted that flights from the UK, Denmark, and South Africa had previously been suspended due to the new strain of the virus.

Duvar English 

Turkey has temporarily stopped flights from Brazil due to the rise in cases of the new coronavirus variant, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter on Jan. 22.

Ankara had previously halted flights from the United Kingdom, Denmark and South Africa due to the new variant. 

Meanwhile, Turkey recorded 5,856 new virus cases, including 723 symptomatic patients, over the past 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed on Jan. 23. 

The COVID-19 death toll rose by 144 in the last 24 hours, the ministry data also showed.

Mass vaccinations began in Turkey last week after the first batch of 3 million doses of the vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech arrived in Turkey on Dec. 30.

So far, over 1 million people, mostly health workers and elderly people, have been vaccinated against the virus across the country since the beginning of the campaign on Jan. 14.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 22 China had approved the delivery of a second consignment of the CoronaVac vaccine, and 10 million doses could arrive in Turkey by this weekend.

Turkey has also agreed with Pfizer and BioNTech for 4.5 million doses of their vaccine and is working on developing its own vaccine domestically.