Turkey not considering virus lockdowns, says health minister

Turkey not considering virus lockdowns, says health minister

Turkey not considering virus lockdowns, says health minister

Turkey is not considering imposing curfews or introducing additional restrictions against the COVID-19 outbreak for the time being, Heath Minister Fahrettin Koca has said.

Speaking at a press conference in the capital Ankara following a Science Board meeting on Oct. 14, Koca noted that the country’s coronavirus case count stood at 340,450 with 1,671 new infections.

The number of cases in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population, went up by 50 percent in the last month, while there was a 60 percent decrease in Ankara over the same period, the minister said, adding that, however, the number of infections in the capital increased by 4 percent in the past three days.

When asked if new measures would be taken in Istanbul in the face of the spike of the COVID-19 cases, Koca said: “We are not mulling imposing restrictions. We had already expected to see an uptick in the number of cases in the city. We have boosted the number of filiation teams in the field.”

He noted that previously a field scan covering 153,000 people to measure the prevalence and immunity of the infection was conducted and said that the field scan would be repeated on Oct. 15.

Koca stressed that they are working on a sample large enough to reflect the entire society.

He said those with positive test results but who have not shown symptoms will be tested, and also with antibody tests, people who already had the virus but did not notice and developed an immunity to it will also be detected.

“This study will give us an idea about the whole society.”

The course of the epidemic among students who have started face-to-face education will be evaluated in the coming two weeks, Koca also said.

According to the minister, 40,000 healthcare personnel have tested positive and 107 of them have lost their lives to date.