Cold-season spread of COVID-19 to be lighter in Türkiye: Expert

Cold-season spread of COVID-19 to be lighter in Türkiye: Expert

ÇANAKKALE - Demirören News Agency
Cold-season spread of COVID-19 to be lighter in Türkiye: Expert

Heading into fall, an expert is guardedly optimistic that the spread of COVID-19 this autumn and winter won’t have a devastating effect in Türkiye.

Warning that there may be minor climbs in COVID-19 cases as the new school year kicked off, professor Alper Şener, an infectious diseases expert, doesn’t expect this to turn into a new wave.

The professor stated that there will be no need for extra precautions other than airing the classrooms in schools, paying attention to wearing face masks on school busses and public transportation.

“If a highly contagious variant such as BA.2.75 seen in India does not disperse to Türkiye, if a new variant originating from Türkiye does not emerge, if we can protect ourselves adequately, prevent or delay its entry into the country, this winter will not require special preparation for COVID-19,” he added.

Şener said Türkiye is among the countries that will pass the autumn and winter at ease, as with this summer.

“There has been a decrease in hospital admissions and intensive care unit stays, while COVID-19 services are also shutting down one by one as the peak we’ve had for two months has now wound down,” Şener said.

Noting that it is not clear whether this downward trend will continue, Şener estimates that there may be a resurgence in the number of cases, especially in November and December, the period when respiratory tract viruses become active.

However, this won’t turn into a new wave that will cause the number of cases to skyrocket as the vaccine already has a significant coverage range in Türkiye and a large proportion of the population has been infected and recovered, according to Şener.

Warning people aged 70 and over, which he described as the at risk group, Şener said, “Since there may be an increase in the number of cases in November and December, this group must have taken the booster shots before this period.”

This group also needs to protect themselves in case of a wave like before, the expert added.

With COVID-19 numbers rising again, the Health Ministry opened up booster shot appointments in an effort to increase the number of vaccinations administered.

One of BioNTech, Sinovac or Turkovac vaccines can be chosen for the booster shot.

A total of 32,191 COVID-19 cases were reported in Türkiye between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4, the Health Ministry said in its weekly coronavirus statistics.

According to the ministry’s data, 139 COVID-19 patients lost their lives, while over 40,000 people recovered from the infection between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4.

Since the first COVID-19 case was reported in March 2020, the coronavirus has infected nearly 16.8 million people and killed over 100,000 in Türkiye.