The country recorded 185 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, a number 45% more that the highest documented death toll in the first wave of April, Reuters reported.
Turkey documented more than 29,000 new cases on Sunday after a record 30,103 new cases on Saturday. The country’s new case numbers are only behind the United States, India and Brazil, all of which have higher populations than Turkey.
Turkish authorities only started including asymptomatic cases in the country’s case tally on Wednesday, while other countries had previously included those who tested positive but had no symptoms.
Officials instituted tougher coronavirus restrictions a week ago, including weekend curfews, limits on movement of people of non-working age, transfers to online school and bans on restaurants serving people in person, according to Reuters.
But in the week since the restrictions, deaths and coronavirus cases continued to rise.
Health experts and those who oppose President Tayyip Erdoğan say more restrictions are needed, but officials are hesitant after previous lockdowns weakened the economy, especially shops, restaurants and hotels.
Erdoğan told reporters on Friday that the increase in cases could be attributed to people not following the government’s COVID-19 rules.
“Masks and (social) distance are very important, hygiene is very important,” he said. “As long as these are not taken into account, especially in large cities, the increasing pursuit of the (virus) becomes inevitable.”
Overall, Turkey has documented 607,628 cases of COVID-19 and 13,558 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.