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World

Erdogan says 10mn CoronaVac doses could reach Turkey by weekend

  • "(The second consignment) was approved in China," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul. "It is highly probable that it could come by the end of this week. We expect 10 million to come."
  • Some 600,000 people were vaccinated in two days when the rollout began just over a week ago, but the pace later slowed.
22 Jan 2021

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday China had approved delivery of a second consignment of the CoronaVac vaccine and 10 million doses could arrive in Turkey by this weekend.

Turkey has already received an initial consignment of three million doses of the vaccine, produced by Sinovac Biotech , and has so far vaccinated more than 1.170 million people, mostly health workers and elderly people.

"(The second consignment) was approved in China," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul. "It is highly probable that it could come by the end of this week. We expect 10 million to come."

Some 600,000 people were vaccinated in two days when the rollout began just over a week ago, but the pace later slowed.

The Health Ministry will test the new shipment, which medics say takes around two weeks, before the vaccinations are administered. That means Turkey would be constrained to around 100,000 inoculations per day for the next two weeks.

Turkey has recorded more than 2.4 million infections and 24,640 deaths due to COVID-19 since March. A rise in cases over the past months led the government to introduce weekday curfews and weekend lockdowns since December.

Daily cases have dropped to around 6,000 in the recent days, from a high of more than 33,000 in early December.

Asked whether restaurants would be allowed to re-open, Erdogan said on Friday the government had concerns that they would not abide by strict measures.

"Unfortunately, no matter how much they say we'll keep it tight, it is not kept tight," he said. "There is a successful process right now. We don't want to take the risk of reversing this successful process again".