COVID-19 cases rise, hospitalization still low: Minister
Erdinç Çelikkan - ANKARA
The rise in the number of COVID-19 cases per day in Türkiye has increased up to 40 times, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has announced, while the admissions in the hospitals has not increased at the same rate, but by three times.
The increase in intensive care units is not significant, said Koca, while warning citizens to be cautious. “As I said before the [Eid al-Adha] holiday, we strongly recommend that those over 50 and in the high-risk group should get the booster shot and wear their face masks in crowded places.”
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, which will be the sixth dose for those aged 65 and over and those in risky groups.
Koca also encouraged the citizens to have the Turkovac vaccine.
“COVID-19 will not end, just like influenza, but we have learned to live with COVID-19 by taking personal precautions,” said Koca, adding that the symptoms of the virus have been flu-like recently.
“Generally, sore throat, nasal flow, fever and muscle aches occur,” Koca said. “However, these symptoms are more significant in people with comorbidity and can lead to hospitalization. We have to be more careful.”
The minister also pointed out that it is not planning to open new intensive care units and there will be no closures.
“There is a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases,” associate professor Mustafa Doğan said, adding that the new peak has begun and the number of cases is expected to reach high figures within days.”
“Currently, there are countries in Europe with more than 100,000 cases per day,” said Doğan, underlining that face masks, distance and hygiene continue to be effective and basic precautions taken in order not to reach these figures.
It is absolutely necessary to wear a face mask, especially on public transport, in shopping malls and marketplaces, according to Doğan.
“People with diseases such as blood pressure issues, heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure should isolate themselves because they are at risk of having this disease more severely,” Doğan added.
While the proportion of those who have received two doses of the jab is 85.5 percent across the country, failure to reach the desired level in the third dose is the biggest risk, according to the experts.
According to the ministry’s data, 31 COVID-19 patients lost their lives, while more than 61,047 people recovered from the infection between July 4 and 10.
Since the first COVID-19 case was reported in March 2020, the coronavirus has infected more than 15 million people and killed nearly 100,000 in Türkiye.
The country launched the vaccination program with the jab developed by the Chinese company Sinovac and then added the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to its arsenal of vaccines. In December 2021, Türkiye rolled out its domestically developed vaccine Turkovac.