Health minister warns of increase in new coronavirus variant cases
A significant increase in the number of cases reported with the new strain of the novel coronavirus has been seen, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said, noting that the new strain is more easily transmitted, and the number of new coronavirus variant cases is expected to continue to increase.
“We have now exceeded the number of cases infected with the mutated virus that we recently announced. The number of cases seems to continue to increase. We see that the mutant virus is transmitted more easily, and symptoms appear quite early,” Koca told reporters in a meeting.
“We are talking about the variant of the virus seen in the U.K., and we see that it is spreading in more provinces,” he added.
Last week, the Health Ministry announced that 128 citizens were infected with the mutated coronavirus, and there were cases of the “U.K. variant” in 17 provinces.
When asked about the reasons for the recent increase in the number of cases, Koca said that due to the ongoing semester break that led to increased mobility in the country and drowsiness caused by the arrival of vaccines were effective in the increase in the number of cases.
“We have seen an increase in [the number of cases] in the last week. The number of cases has crossed the 6,000-7,000 mark, whereas it should have been in between 4,000-5,000 this week,” Koca added.
On being asked about when the COVID-19 restrictions would be eased, Koca said that the required conditions have not been reached yet, adding that they have a schedule for easing coronavirus restrictions.
Referring to domestic vaccine studies, Koca stated that an inactive domestic vaccine would start with phase-2 next week.
Pointing out that four to six vaccines may be allowed for Phase-1 next week, Koca said that the local vaccines were likely to come out around June or July.