ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s currency briefly dropped to an all-time low against the dollar on Thursday as the country struggles with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Turkish lira fell by 1% to 7.26 against the dollar, surpassing the previous record low of 7.24 reached during a currency crisis in August 2018. It recuperated losses later in the day.

The Turkish currency has lost some 18% of its value against the dollar since the beginning of the year.

The country was hit by the pandemic as it was already grappling with slow growth, increasing unemployment and rising inflation.

Meanwhile, Turkey reported 57 new COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours and 1,977 new confirmed infections.

The total number of fatalities in the country has now reached 3,641, while there are 133,721 confirmed cases, according to figures Health Minister Fahrettin Koca posted on Twitter.

Also Thursday, an official said a total of 153 elderly people residing in 426 nursing homes across Turkey, have died of the new coronavirus.

Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry official Orhan Koc told the private DHA news agency that at least 978 nursing home residents were infected and 208 are still being treated in hospitals.

Around 27,500 people reside in nursing homes, Koc said.

Turkey is preparing to gradually ease measures that were introduced to curb the infection rates as of next week, by reopening malls, beauty salons, hairdressers and barber shops.


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