Cases may start to decline at end-February, says expert
The number of COVID-19 cases may peak in the first weeks of this month and start to decline afterwards, according to an expert, as daily infections are still hovering above 100,000.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of outpatients with COVID but hospitalizations due to the pandemic appears to be stable,” said Professor Alper Şener from the Health Ministry’s Science Board, which advises the government on the
Turkey may experience a fourth peak in COVID-19 case numbers in the first two weeks of February, he added. “But we are expecting the infections to start to decline at the end of the month,” Şener explained.
He, however, warned that if the rise in cases continue, more patients may need to be admitted to the intensive care units.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca made similar comments on the current pandemic situation and weeks ahead.
“The Omicron variant is responsible for the unusual spread of the virus, but as it happened in Istanbul and Eskisehir, the daily number of cases may show sharp declines in the coming weeks,” he said.
Earlier this week, Koca said that at one point daily infections in Istanbul, the country’s largest city, hit 40,000 but within a space of 14 days, they dropped below 20,000. He noted that cases also declined by a third in the northwestern province Eskişehir in two weeks.
“As seen in the examples of Istanbul and Eskişehir, the number of cases may decline sharply in two to three weeks. The illness the variant causes is less severe. We need to protect ourselves, but we need to focus on the future not the pandemic,” he wrote on Twitter on Feb. 3.