Decline in number of severe COVID-19 patients continues: Health minister
The decline in the number of COVID-19 patients who are in critical condition continues to decline, Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said.
Turkey reported that there were 1,507 severe coronavirus patients as of Oct. 1, down from 1,516 in the previous day and 1,583 such cases on Sept. 29.
Koca also noted that the number of recoveries was close to the number of new patients.
As part of the measures to curb the spread of the disease, the Interior Ministry announced on Oct. 2 that all events to be organized by non-governmental organizations, professional organizations, and associations and cooperatives, have been postponed until Dec. 1.
“The state is protecting not only public health but also national interests because the outbreak impacts the whole life. Criticism leveled by those who are not accountable is no different than trying to find a stain by focusing with a lens on a single spot in a whole picture,” Koca also tweeted.
His remarks came after claims that the official data underreported the virus cases in Turkey.
Earlier this week, Koca said that since most who tested positive for the novel coronavirus did not show symptoms, not all cases were patients.
Koca was responding to claims by a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Murat Emir, who earlier shared a document purportedly indicating that the number of positive cases in the country was 19 times higher than official figures.
In a press conference, the minister also noted that the tables posted by the Health Ministry started to provide information on the daily number of new patients since July 29.
Prior to that date, the tables showed the number of daily cases.
The U.S., Switzerland and Germany use the same reporting method as Turkey, Professor İlyas Dökmetaş from Health Sciences University’s department of infectious diseases told daily Hürriyet.
“They do not add those, who have tested positive for COVID-19, to the patient count,” he added.
Instead of focusing on the case versus patient count debate, the public should be made more conscious of the disease and anti-virus measures, Dökmetaş said.
The number of people with symptoms is an important data which help prepare hospitals and intensive care units and make beds available, but the real issue is to prevent the spread of the virus out there in the field, said Professor Necmettin Ünal at Ankara University’s Medical School.
“Ghost spreaders are a big threat. Thus, adding those cases to the official data should be the main policy since it will make people to take this [the outbreak] serious,” Ünal added.