Turkey to begin coronavirus inoculation by this weekend, Erdogan says
"The COVID-19 vaccine will begin to be administered on Thursday or Friday in line with the determined order," Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a press conference following a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Complex.
"With the number of COVID-19 cases falling below a certain number, we will ease the restrictions gradually, as we did before," he added.
The first batch of 3 million doses of the inoculations ordered from China's SinoVac Biotech arrived in Turkey on Dec. 30, which was followed by testing at Turkish labs.
Erdoğan also pointed to Turkey one day fulfilling its own vaccine needs, saying: "The most important thing is to develop our own vaccine. Many of our universities, institutions and companies are making intense efforts towards this end."
As of Monday, Turkey registered a total of 22,981 deaths due to coronavirus while over 2.2 million people had recovered from the disease. To date, there have been more than 2.33 million confirmed cases in the country.
Speaking on economic growth amid the pandemic, Erdoğan said: "With a growth rate of 6.7% in the third quarter of 2020, despite the coronavirus outbreak, Turkey became the fastest-growing economy in the world."
"In October, our industrialists realized the highest monthly industrial production in our history," he added
Turkey's automotive market in 2020 expanded to nearly 773,000 units, up 61% from 2019, Erdoğan said, adding that housing sales in the first 11 months of 2020 also reached 1.4 million, up 21.5% from the previous year.
By providing a 29% return to its investors in 2020, Turkey's Borsa Istanbul stock exchange became one of the best-performing markets in the world, he noted.
Turkey's gold production in 2020 reached its highest level in the history of the Republic of Turkey at 42 tons, he underlined.
The contribution of this production to Turkey's economy is $2.4 billion, he said, adding that over the next five years Turkey aims to more than double annual gold production to 100 tons.