Ankara (Turkey), January 13: Turkey said on Wednesday that it has decided to further ease its COVID-19 quarantine restrictions and test requirements, while Omicron has become the dominant variant in the country.
The country will abolish the PCR test requirement for screening purposes and for close-contacts of COVID-positive individuals, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a video message released after a meeting of Turkey's coronavirus science board.
The test will be performed on people with symptoms, he added.
A fully vaccinated contact of a COVID-19 afflicted person will not be quarantined and an infected person will not need a PCR test to end seven-day isolation, the minister said.
The Omicron variant has become dominant among cases of the country, he said, noting that the number of the infected increased four times since last month.
However, the hospitalization has increased only 10 percent, the minister added.
Turkey on Wednesday reported 77,722 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily figure on record, raising its tally of infections to 10,195,676, according to its health ministry.
The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 145 to 84,125, while 42,573 more people recovered in the last 24 hours.
A total of 422,028 tests were conducted over the past day, it said.
Turkey has started mass COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 14, 2021 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine.
About 57.18 million people have received their first doses of the vaccine, while over 52.01 million had got their second doses. Turkey has so far administered 137.89 million doses including the booster jabs.