Nearly all new COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated, minister says

Nearly all new COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated, minister says

ISTANBUL

Some 87 percent of current COVID-19 cases include people who are not fully vaccinated, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a news conference following a meeting of the Coronavirus Science Board on July 28, appealing people to get jabbed.

Koca pointed to a “very rapid increase” in new infections seen in the last two weeks, saying that 95 percent of hospitalized patients were unvaccinated and that the rate of those who were fully vaccinated and got infected was less than 5 percent.

Turkey confirmed 22,291 new infections and 76 coronavirus-related deaths on July 28, while as many as 4,197 more patients recovered.

Emphasizing that it is observed that the attention to the measures against COVID-19 has decreased, Koca stated that immunity could not be obtained without at least two doses of vaccine and after a certain period of time.

“Our first priority is that all of our citizens should take their precautions as responsible individuals and fulfill their duties towards the society by receiving vaccinations,” Koca said, adding that he doesn’t want a return to the days of restrictions.

“There is no situation where we will have to do this [restrictions] for now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen,” he added.

Amid a nationwide drop in cases and an expedited vaccination drive, Turkey entered a new normalization phase on July 1, lifting almost all virus-related restrictions.

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Noting that the precautions have to be followed until immunity is obtained thanks to vaccines, the minister said that vaccines were most important for people in the risk group and that getting jabbed was essential to protect our loved ones.

Giving the news that a program has been launched that allows citizens over aged 50 to receive the third dose of vaccine, the minister emphasized that nearly 9 million people were expected to get vaccinated in this context.

“I invite these citizens to receive their third dose of vaccine as soon as possible,” Koca added.

The country continues its intensive vaccination campaign to curb the virus’ spread, as everyone 18 and above is eligible for vaccine shots.