Reinstating restrictions not necessary, says health minister

Reinstating restrictions not necessary, says health minister

Reinstating restrictions not necessary, says health minister

Despite the success of the ongoing vaccination program, COVID-19 cases are on the rise, but presently there is no need to impose restrictions, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said.

Data from the Health Ministry show that the daily virus cases inched up above 6,000 cases over the last couple of days after plateauing to around 5,000 in the past weeks.

Speaking after the Health Ministry’s Science Board meeting on July 14, Koca noted that virus cases tended to increase in the past week, particularly in the low-vaccinated provinces, and this increase in infections is an indicator that the outbreak is not yet over.

Complacent behavior will render the weapons at hand against the pandemic ineffective, Koca said, urging the public to continue to adhere to anti-virus measures, especially during the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday.

Presently there is no pressing need to reintroduce the virus-related restrictions, but difficult and challenging days could be ahead if the measures are ignored and people avoid COVID-19 vaccines, the minister warned.

Koca also said that people who received their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine will get the second shot four weeks apart and the second dose of the BioNTech jab will be given three weeks after the first dose.

Turkey, which launched its vaccination program on Jan. 14, is using both the injections developed by the Chinese company Sinovac and Pfizer/BioNTech.

To date, the country has administered well over 61 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines. More than 19 million people have been fully vaccinated, which correspond to 30 percent of the population aged 18 and above. Close to 39 million people, or more than 62 percent, of the same age group have received their first doses.