Experts optimistic as COVID cases decline
With the number of daily coronavirus cases hovering below 20,000, experts have voiced their optimism about the course of the pandemic but have also stressed the need for exercising caution against new variants.
Major provinces, including Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir, have seen a drop in the number of COVID-19 cases in the first week of March, the figures by the Health Ministry released on March 13 show.
While the figures in Turkey are parallel to the rest of the world, experts, who evaluate the declining number of cases, point out that good days may be at hand after a two-year-long struggle.
“We knew in December that the situation would come to this point,” said Professor Derya Unutmaz, an immunology specialist at the U.S.-based Jackson Laboratory Institute.
Unutmaz noted that there are two main reasons for the decrease in the number of cases. “The first is that vaccination has reached very high rates, and the second is that Omicron was very contagious. So much so that even those who were vaccinated got Omicron,” the expert said.
“The main reason for this is that an immunity against Omicron was formed before,” he noted, adding that Omicron has built its own immunity after infecting so many people.
Professor Alper Şener, an infectious disease specialist, stated that since Omicron is very contagious, it contributes to the herd immunity that is being tried to be achieved with vaccination.
However, Şener noted that the interruption of the chain of transmission would be possible with individual and social measures and that exercising precautions should continue.
“It is not possible to end the risk of variants that will continue to circulate in nature, that is, among animals. After this stage, we must prepare for possible new types of variants,” Şener added.