COVID-19 restrictions working, says Turkish health minister
A rise in the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition has slowed, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said, adding that the measures taken against the outbreak appear to be working, urging people to avoid crowded places.
“The effects of the [anti-virus] restrictions have started to be seen. Hopefully, we will see more of those impacts soon,” Koca wrote on Twitter.
“Our duty is to comply with the restrictions and stay away from crowds,” he added.
Officials believe the impact of the newly introduced curbs will be seen one week later, daily Hürriyet reported.
The government last week imposed weeknight curfews, full lockdown on weekends. As part of the measures, only a limited number of people are allowed to enter crowded streets, avenues and squares. Restaurants are closed and may only provide delivery and takeaway services.
Officials pointed out that the number of virus cases have been in decline in large provinces, particularly in Istanbul and that the closure of venues, such restaurants, played a role in this drop.
They, however, acknowledged that COVID-19 keeps spreading and the number of virus cares are rising in heartland Turkey.
The overall daily virus count hover around 30,000 because of the rise in the Anatolian provinces, according to officials.
Officials, however, suggested that the number of cases in some large Anatolian provinces, including Şanlıurfa, Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Diyarbakır and Trabzon may start to decline soon.
They reckoned that the total daily cases should drop to around 20,000 in January 2021 due to the restrictions and vaccinations against COVID-19 and further down to 10,000.
Turkey on Dec. 7 shortened the quarantine requirement for contact with a novel coronavirus case to 10 days.
In a statement, the Health Ministry announced the update to its COVID-19 guidelines according to research by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and European Centers for Disease Control (ECDC), which it said it follows closely.
“People who had close contact will stay in quarantine for 10 days. The quarantine of people who do not develop any symptoms during the quarantine period ends at the end of the 10th day without conducting a PCR test, but these people will continue taking the necessary precautions in public spaces,” said the updated document.
Previously, the quarantine requirement for contact with someone who contracts the coronavirus had been 14 days.