Turkey opens new hospitals as daily coronavirus cases drop

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Two hospitals for coronavirus patients were opened in Istanbul on Sunday as Turkey’s daily number of new cases fell to its lowest since the peak of the outbreak.

“Thank God, we prevented the spread of the pandemic even without needing the additional capacity we created here,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as he opened a 1,008-bed hospital, built over 45 days on the site of the former Ataturk airport.

Turkey recorded 839 cases over the previous 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted Sunday evening, taking the total to 163,942 since the first infection was announced on March 11. There were 25 coronavirus-related deaths over the same period, bringing the toll to 4,540.

Turkey ranks 10th worldwide for the number of virus cases, according to John Hopkins University, although experts believe the rate of infections globally could be much higher than reported.

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Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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