Flux in COVID-19 cases within expected range: Health minister
The fluctuations in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Turkey are within the expected range, the country's health minister said on June 17.
"No surprises, we are within the expected range [of fluctuations]. Not going outside of this is up to you," meaning the public, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told a news conference following a virtual meeting of the
country’s Coronavirus Science Board.
Koca noted that as Turkey relaxes virus-related restrictions, the public must continue to adhere to measures such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance to ensure the virus does not flare-up.
Koca also informed that Turkey ranks 51st in the world in terms of the number of cases, with 2,151 confirmed coronavirus cases per 1 million people.
“Turkey also ranked 57th in the world with 57 deaths from the virus per 1 million people,” the minister added.
In Istanbul, the country’s largest city, the number of daily confirmed cases averaged 653 over the past month, Koca said. However, he noted, in the past three days this went up to around 700 as of June 17.
In the capital Ankara, in the past month on average 127 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 but the figure rose to 155 in the past week and further to 177 over the past three days, Koca said.
The highest mortality rate is in the northern Gümüşhane province, with 12.4 percent, while the lowest is in the southeastern province of Kilis, with 0.33 percent, according to the minister.
Professor Tevfik Özlü from the Science Board said the rise in the new confirmed cases has slowed in the past two days.
“The reason behind the spike in certain provinces will become clear following health teams’ works,” Özlü told private news channel CNN Türk on June 18.
“Is it because people traveled to their hometowns, or is it because people ignored hygiene rules when they go to supermarkets or are there holidaymakers traveling to resort towns? Detailed studies will reveal the reason behind the recent spike,” he said.