Turkey's coronavirus death toll passes 10,000

FILE PHOTO: A nurse and a doctor take care of a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at an intensive care unit of the Medicana International Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, April 14, 2020. Picture taken April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus rose above 10,000 on Wednesday and the health minister raised the alarm about a 62% weekly surge in number of cases in the country’s most populated city Istanbul.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 2,300 new COVID-19 patients were recorded in the country, in a press conference following a meeting of the government’s science board. The death toll rose to 10,027, Koca said.

“If we don’t get the situation in Istanbul under control, the outbreak will spiral out of control,” he said.

Koca said the biggest reason for the increasing numbers in Istanbul was public transportation as millions of workers pack mass transit vehicles during rush hour, creating a perfect environment for the virus to spread.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Dominic Evans