Daily virus cases continue to decline in Turkey
The daily coronavirus cases in Turkey declined for a second consecutive day on July 15, but health experts are still cautiously optimistic as the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday poses risks.
In mid-June, the cases jumped to 1,195 on June 12 from 987 a day earlier and the trend in infections had been upward in the following couple of weeks, alarming health experts.
On July 15, 17 people lost their lives from COVID-19, down from 20 deaths on July 14.
“The latest case figures indicate that we have been taking the situation seriously lately,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter.
Although welcoming the recent decline in infections, experts leading the fight against the outbreak are still issuing warnings.
“Indeed, recording fewer cases is promising, however, there is not much difference between daily 1,000 cases and 900 cases. It would be a mistake to assess the fight [against the pandemic] by looking at the number of daily cases. We can only say, ‘We are on the right path,’ only if when we see drops in infections in several weeks,” Professor Mehmet Ceyhan told daily Hürriyet.
Ceyhan recalled that previously the daily cases in Turkey had declined to around 700, but picked up again. “We will be able heave a deep sigh of relief when the number of infections drop to zero,” he added.
He reiterated the potential risks from the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday, saying that such events and occasions are always a threat.
“The Eid holiday is still risky if we celebrate it in the fashion we used to celebrate in the past,” Ceyhan said, adding that reopening schools may also create risks.
He stressed that there is a group of people who insistently defy calls in adhering to anti-virus rules. “If the number of new cases remains to stick at a certain level, it is because of those people who are not grasping the idea of a second wave of the outbreak.”
According to Professor Tevfik Özlü, from the Health Ministry’s Science Board, the daily 1,000 infections is a “psychological threshold,” thus the recent decline in COVID-19 cases are welcome news.
But Özlü pointed out that the number of intubated patients and people in intensive care units (ICUs) has been on the rise.
“The death rate is not declining. We cannot say ‘it is over,’ by simply looking at the daily infections. Because it is not the only parameter to decide on the course of the outbreak,” Özlü said, underlining the necessity of sticking to anti-virus measures.