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Istanbul still on top of virus cases list

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city with a population of around 16 million, still tops the list showing how widespread coronavirus cases are, even though the number of infections in the city declined since last week.

According to the data the country’s Health Ministry released on May 4 for April 24 and April 30, the number of cases per 100,000 people was 532 in Istanbul, down nearly 855 cases in the previous week.

The northern western province of Kırklareli came second in the list at some 499 cases, followed by another northwestern province of Tekirdağ at 490 cases. The infections in those provinces also showed declines compared with the week before.

The number of cases per 100,000 people in Ankara was a little more than 361, easing from the previous week’s 568 and it was 223 in İzmir, the country’s third-largest city, down from 335 in April 17-April 23.

Touting the declines in cases, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that the pandemic outlook will further improve with measures and restrictions.

Meanwhile, Koca told daily Yeni Şafak that Turkey may use a locally developed vaccine to administer the third dose against COVID-19. He reminded that a third dose is recommended.

“More than one locally developed vaccine could be in use toward the end of the year. We may use the indigenous injection as the third dose. The Science Board will decide when the third dose will be administered and to whom,” Koca said.

To date, Turkey has administered more than 24 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since Jan. 14 when it launched its inoculation drive. Nearly 14.3 million people have received the first dose while more than 9.8 million people have been given both doses.

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