Measures help Turkey reduce virus cases by 80 percent, says health minister
Turkey has seen a significant 80 percent drop in the number of coronavirus cases due to measures introduced to bring the spread of the disease under control, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said as the country is widening the scope of its vaccination program.
In a statement released after the Health Ministry’s Science Board meeting held on Jan. 27, Koca, however, reiterated a warning that despite the noticeable decline in infections, the number of daily COVID-19 cases are still hovering at around 5,000 to 7,000.
“Considering the increasing risk situation in the world, it is obvious that we must continue to strictly comply with the measures. Uncontrolled loosening of measures against the virus can cause fluctuations that is more difficult to overcome,” Koca said in the statement.
The minister called on the public to strictly adhere to the anti-virus rules.
Turkey has suspended flights from Brazil, the U.K, Denmark and South Africa amid rising case numbers of a mutated variant of the novel coronavirus.
In the face of a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, the government introduced weeknight curfews and full lockdown on weekends in December 2020. As part of those restrictions, restaurants and cafes remain closed, providing only delivery and takeaway services.
Meanwhile, Turkey on Jan. 28 started to administer the vaccine, bought from the Chinese firm Sinovac, to those aged over 75 at health institutions, widening the coverage of the vaccination program which was rolled out on Jan. 14.
Initially, frontline health workers and people aged over 85 received their first dose of the Chinese vaccine.
Koca noted that injection teams visited the elderly at their homes to vaccinate but they also administered the jab to people aged over 65 in the same household.
The vaccination of the country’s more than 1.1 million health workers and those live in care homes have been completed, according to the minister.
More than 1.5 million people have been vaccinated to date.
Turkey has received the first batch of 3 million doses of the injection on Dec. 30, 2020 and the second batch, comprising of 6.5 million doses, arrived in the country on Jan. 25.
The jabs are administered to the public after local laboratories run tests on them for 14 days.