Jab drive needs to pick up the pace, experts warn
The increase in COVID-19 cases appears to be outpacing the speed of vaccinations that may spell trouble in the months ahead, experts have warned.
Professor Tufan Tükek, the dean of Istanbul University’s Faculty of Medicine, noted that there were concerns over the possibility of experiencing a fourth wave in the pandemic even in the countries, such as the United States and Israel, which inoculated more than 50 percent of their population.
“Due to unchecked reopening and the Delta variant of the virus, the cases jumped in the United Kingdom. In Turkey, we have seen a 30 percent increase in infections over the past week to above 8,000. It is likely that the daily cases may further rise to 10,000 next week,” he said, pointing out the scenes from the resort towns.
“No masks, no social distancing. Those scenes are unbelievable. Cases may soar in the week after the Eid al-Adha holiday,” he added.
Tükek underlined that Turkey has not yet achieved the desired number of vaccinations for the second dose.
“It should not come as a surprise if we see virus cases at 20,000 in mid-August. The fourth wave may arrive even before autumn,” he warned.
Tükek also noted that the public was becoming desensitized to the pandemic. “Some quarters of the public fully ignore the virus, while others either surrender to faith or develop conspiracy theories about the vaccine. This is a rather gloomy outlook,” he said.
Professor İftihar Köksal from the Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Specialty Society shared Tükek’s concerns regarding the effects of the complacent behavior people show at resort towns.
“Those crowds will return to cities after the holiday and probably along them will bring the virus. This is worrying,” Köksal said.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca appeared to agree to potential risks which might emerge during the long holiday.
“It is very crucial to keep the number of cases under control during the Eid al-Adha holiday. The pandemic will be over only when if we reach social immunity by getting vaccinated and adhering to rules. Otherwise, it is a vicious circle.” Koca wrote on Twitter.