Doctor warns public against complacency as Turkey battles COVID-19
A doctor on the Health Ministry’s Science Board, which is leading the country’s battle against the coronavirus outbreak, has warned the Turkish public against complacency amid the pandemic.
“This complacency is not good,” Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ceyhan told daily Hürriyet, listing three major mistakes made after the start of the normalization phase on June 1.
Ceyhan stressed that infected people not showing any symptoms of the coronavirus spread the virus.
He said the second common misconception among the public was that they believed the virus would die in the summer, while adding that the consequences of the normalization phase were not known and calculated thoroughly beforehand.
“The pandemic has no season,” Ceyhan stressed, suggesting some measures should be taken again.
The first thing to be done is to limit the number of attendees in meetings, condolence gatherings and military send-off ceremonies.
To prevent overcrowding on public transport, work hours and the beginnings and ends of work shifts should be adjusted.
More tests should be carried out to find people who are infected but not showing any symptoms.
According to Ceyhan, people living in cities most infected with the virus should be permitted to travel to other cities only if their tests turn out negative.
Saying that the world is still fighting the virus in its first wave, Ceyhan noted, “There is no second wave for now.” He, however, pointed to September for the potential second wave.
“We should not welcome September with these number of cases. Schools will be opened. People will be indoors,” said Ceyhan, noting concerns that there will be an increase in the cases in September.
“There is no medicine, no vaccine. Our only hope is the mutation of the virus,” added Ceyhan.
The previous Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) mutated in eight months, while the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) took a year to mutate and lose its momentum.
“The mutation of COVID-19? It is like an earthquake, you never know when it will happen. Could be tomorrow or three months later,” he said.