ANKARA, June 19 (Reuters) – Turkey has received an additional 5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese company Sinovac, state news agency Anadolu said on Saturday, as President Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope a rebound in the tourism sector. .
Turkey’s vaccination program accelerated this week, with more than one million injections per day given since Monday.
Turkey’s tourism sector faces a second summer in the doldrums due to international travel restrictions, but could benefit from a late boost if the pace of vaccination continues and COVID-19 cases today about 6,000 a day are contained.
Erodgan told members of his ruling AK party in the resort town of Antalya on Saturday that easing restrictions in countries like Germany and Russia could provide a major boost.
“Countries that are essential for our tourism sector have started to ease travel restrictions. From Tuesday, God willing, Russia lifts the ban,” Erdogan said, referring to Russia’s decision. to resume flights to Turkey.
“Now Russian tourists will start flocking to Antalya. Germany has also lifted (measures). There are some issues with Britain, but I have met (Prime Minister) Boris Johnson and, if God willing, they will also lift the restrictions, “he said, adding that France would also consider easing the restrictions.
Ankara administers vaccines developed by Sinovac, as well as Pfizer and Biontech. The Turkish Ministry of Health had also granted an emergency use authorization for the Russian Sputnik V.
On Monday, Erdogan met at a NATO summit in Brussels, including with leaders of Germany, France and Britain, to discuss tourism, among others. On Saturday, he said the talks were “bearing fruit”.
“We are taking all the measures. Last year we closed the year with 16 million tourists, I hope we will reach a better level this year,” he said. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Christina Fincher)