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Coronavirus

Turkish President Erdogan tests positive for COVID-19

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday he had tested positive for COVID-19 but was not experiencing severe symptoms.

"After experiencing light symptoms, my wife and I tested positive for Covid-19. We have a mild infection thankfully, which we learned to be the omicron variant," the president said in a tweet. “We are on duty. We will continue to work at home. We look forward to your prayers.”

Erdogan, 67, sent the message after appearing via videolink at a tunnel-opening ceremony from Istanbul, having canceled his appearance in person, citing bad weather. The president showed no signs of illness in his televised appearance.

Turkey has seen record levels of COVID-19 cases in recent days, with 111,157 cases reported by the Health Ministry on Friday. In late December, daily cases stood at about 20,000 but have risen due to the highly transmissible omicron variant.

The country is also seeing a high number of fatalities due to COVID-19, with 248 deaths on Friday, a level not seen since October.

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