Not all COVID-19 cases are patients, says Turkey’s health minister
Not all COVID-19 cases are patients, because there are people who test positive for the virus, but show no symptoms, Turkey’s health minister has said, responding to claims that the official data are not accurate.
“The attention in fact should be paid to the number of new patients which are announced on a daily basis. People, who test positive, but do not show any symptom constitute the vast majority,” he told reporters in Ankara following the Health Ministry’s Science Board meeting.
The filiation teams are working particularly to track this group of people, who could easily spread the virus if unchecked, but if they are isolated properly their tests come back negative after a week, Koca explained.
“The other positive cases are those who show symptoms and receive treatment at home or at hospitals. We also separately report those receiving treatment at hospitals,” he said.
Earlier this week, Murat Emir, a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP,) claimed that the data the Health Ministry was underreporting the number of cases.
“Koca announced that the number of new patients was 1,512 on Sept. 10, however the actual number of cases were 29,377,” said Emir, producing a document, which he claimed belonged to the Health Ministry’s Laboratory Information Management System.
In response to the lawmaker’s remarks, Koca questioned the authenticity of the document.
“The document bears no date on it and our system does not have such an interface. According to the document, on this particular day, 152,000 tests were carried out, but in fact 112,000 tests were conducted,” he said.
All data and information on the tables the Health Ministry announces on a daily basis are correct, Koca added.
The minister also noted that the tables started to provide information on the daily number of new patients since July 29.
Prior to that date, the tables showed the number of daily cases.