Istanbul’s front line doctors say long way to go before normalcy

Istanbul’s front line doctors say long way to go before normalcy

Selçuk Şamiloğlu – ISTANBUL
Istanbul’s front line doctors say long way to go before normalcy

Doctors and medical staff on the front line fighting the coronavirus at Istanbul University’s Cerrahpaşa Medical Hospital have warned Turkish people that there is still a long way to go before going back to normalcy, as they stress on the importance of face masks and keeping social distances.

“The biggest mistake at the moment is complacency,” said the doctors, speaking to daily Hürriyet.

People have fun in parks and cafes without taking any precautions and “it is very unfair” to health workers, according to the doctors at Cerrahpaşa.

“The number of cases will increase because of these people who do not comply with rules,” said Seyit Ali Karagöz, a doctor at the emergency room (ER) of the hospital.

“If nine people in 10 adhere, but one does not, we can’t succeed. The public should obey the rules if we want to go back to the pre-coronavirus days,” said Serab Biberoğlu, another ER doctor.

Prof. Dr. Yalım Dikmen, the head of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital, stressed on a pattern differing in Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey and the epicenter of the outbreak, and the rest of the country.

“At first, the number of cases in Istanbul was high. When intercity travel started, the numbers in other cities increased, while it decreased in Istanbul,” the doctor said.

Dikmen stressed Turkey was still battling the first wave of the disease, which has killed over 5,000 people and has infected at least 199,000 people in the country.

“The virus does not care if you are young or old. It is contagious and fatal,” added Dikmen, advising everybody strictly follows hygiene recommendations.

Karagöz warned widespread complacency will lead to the healthcare system to get overstretched, if they see patients coming one and after another without an unforeseeable end.

“If they do not adhere to social distancing or wearing masks, first they will risk their lives, then they will become a burden on us, the health workers on the front line,” added Karagöz.

Prof. Dr. İbrahim İkizceli believes “we will never go back to normal if we don’t take measures.”