Chinese vaccine delivery to Turkey postponed '1-2 days'
Turkey has signed an agreement to purchase 50 million doses of the vaccine from China’s Sinovac, and the first delivery of 3 million doses was expected on Dec. 28.
“As a result of the [virus] incident, customs mobility has been temporarily suspended. For this reason, the arrival of our vaccines, which were supposed to depart after customs operations, will be late by one or two days,” Koca said on Twitter on Dec. 27.
Last week, the minister announced a deal with BioNTech, which developed a coronavirus vaccine jointly with Pfizer.
Under the agreement, initially, 550,000 doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer injection will be sent to Turkey by the end of the year or early 2021 at the latest, Koca said.
Around 4.5 million doses of the vaccine will be delivered to the country by the end of March 2021.
Turkey could have access to up to 30 million doses as part of the deal, Koca also said.
The health minister reiterated in a tweet on Dec. 27 that Turkey would not make vaccination against the novel coronavirus compulsory.
“Our vaccination program is ready. With our scientists, we will make efforts to convince the public about the necessity of vaccination against the coronavirus,” he tweeted.
“The number of cases and the number of patients kept declining. The number of contacts and demand for testing is also declining. We are hoping to see the effects of the restrictions and precautions soon,” Koca said.
The test positivity rate declined to 15 percent from above 25 percent in Istanbul, the country’s largest city, thanks to restrictions and precautions the government has introduced, Koca told daily Hürriyet.
The number of filiation teams, which track contacts, in the city has been increased by 50 percent, while the number of beds in hospitals’ intensive care units in Istanbul has risen by 30 percent, he stated.
“All those happened within a space of eight to 10 days thanks to our well-organized health care system and sacrifices that our health care workers made,” Koca said.