The number of daily coronavirus patients in Turkey reached the 3,000 mark Friday with the country's health minister urging to adhere to restrictive measures imposed to contain the spread of the disease.
The data compiled by the Health Ministry showed that 3,045 more patients have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 407,939.
Meanwhile, some 2,010 patients have recovered from the disease, pushing the count to 348,804, while the death toll rose by 93 to reach 11,326.
Health specialists carried out 150,000 COVID-19 tests across the country, raising the total count to over 15.8 million, the figures showed.
Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that the number of patients in critical condition currently stands at 3,356, with 4.2% this week suffering from pneumonia.
“The number of patients in critical condition and our losses are rising,” Koca wrote, urging the public to wear masks to reduce the spread of the virus.
Turkey has experienced a surge in the number of patients recently. Although it loosened restrictions on daily life and kicked off a “normalization” process last summer, the country follows a careful path to recovery with what authorities call “controlled social life.”
Social distancing is strictly enforced with daily inspections while authorities gradually introduce new bans based on upward trends in the number of patients.
Earlier on Friday, Koca who helms the country’s efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, tried to instill hope in a public weary of months of restrictions and measures.
“We yearn for the days we will breathe freely again. Masks will not be in our lives soon. There are great developments in vaccine work. Let’s wait for the results,” he tweeted.
In the meantime, he called on the public to properly wear masks everywhere except at home and thanked the nation “for patience.”
Across the world, COVID-19 has claimed more than 1.29 million lives in 191 countries and regions since last December.
The United States, India and Brazil are currently the worst-hit countries. Over 53 million cases have been reported worldwide, with over 34.2 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the U.S.' Johns Hopkins University.