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Turkey reports 15 cases of UK's new Covid-19 variant - latest updates
22:30, 01.01.2021

Turkey has detected 15 cases of mutated virus strain brought in by UK travellers, and suspended further entry from the UK, says Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

Koca said widespread contact screening has been done and the contact circles of the infected people have been quarantined, adding that the situation was under control.

Italy has reported 462 deaths against 555 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 22,211 from 23,477.

There were 157,524 swab tests carried out in the past day, the ministry said, down from a previous 186,004.

Italy has seen an official total of 74,621 deaths since its outbreak came to light on February 21, the highest toll in Europe and the fifth highest in the world.

British health officials have reactivated emergency hospitals that were built at the start of the pandemic to handle a surge in cases that is putting existing wards under extreme pressure, particularly in London.

The UK recorded a further 53,285 cases, the fourth day running that it has topped 50,000, and 613 deaths, official data showed.

The rise in cases compares with the 55,892 that were reported on Thursday, while the death tally marks a fall from the 964 reported the day before.

Medics have warned they are struggling to cope, especially when so many colleagues are off sick or having to self isolate, and paramedics and nurses have had to treat patients in ambulances because of a shortage of available beds.

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