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Turkey reports daily rise in virus cases to over 1,000

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey on Friday reported a higher daily number of new coronavirus cases some two weeks after the government relaxed many of the restrictions it put in place to reduce infections.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reported 1,195 confirmed cases in 24 hours, pushing the country's total confirmed caseload in the pandemic to 175,218. It was the first time the number of new cases registered in a day surpassed 1,000 after hovering around 800 or 900 for nearly two weeks.

Koca also reported 15 more virus-related deaths, the lowest day-to-day mortality number in more than two months. Turkey's death toll from the pandemic now stands at 4,778. The government authorized restaurants, cafes, gyms, parks, beaches and museums to reopen on June 1 and eased stay-at-home orders for senior citizens and minors earlier this week. People crowded seasides and parks in the first weekend after the relaxation, often without masks or observing social distancing.

Koca said “the false optimism” is allowing the virus to spread again. He urged the public to wear masks and to abide by government advice on distancing and hygiene.

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