Turkey records 193 COVID-19 deaths, highest since early January

Turkey's Health Ministry reported that 193 COVID-19 patients died on April 5, the highest number recorded since early January. The country temporarily relaxed precautions in March, a move that was widely interpreted as mismanagement on Ankara's part, bringing the government under fire once again for insufficient measures.

Tourists, exempt from the national weekend lockdown, stroll the streets of Istanbul's Eminönü district.

Reuters - Duvar English

Turkey reported a record 193 COVID-19 patients died on April 5, the highest number since early January that brought the cumulative toll to 32,456. 

The country recorded 42,551 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed on April 5, remaining near an all-time high it touched over the weekend.

Turkey currently ranks fifth globally for most daily cases based on a seven-day average, according to a Reuters tally.

Cases have soared since the government eased measures to curb the pandemic in early March, and daily cases rose to a record high of 44,756 on April 3.

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a tightening of measures, including the return of full nationwide weekend lockdowns for the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on April 13.

The total number of cases in Turkey stood at 3.529 million as of April 5, the data showed. 

Experts agree that Turkey has entered a third peak of the pandemic following Ankara's relaxing of measures in early March, and the government's mismanagement of restrictions is often cited as the primary cause. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came under fire particularly after holding both provincial congresses and a national meeting prior to the spike in cases, and Erdoğan boasted about filling up spaces "to the brim."