Sharp rise in virus cases in Ankara under probe

Sharp rise in virus cases in Ankara under probe

Meltem Özgenç-Ankara
Sharp rise in virus cases in Ankara under probe

A study has been launched to investigate the cause behind the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Ankara after Health Minister Fahrettin Koca warned that the cases in the capital were twice the number in Istanbul.

Ankara’s population is more than 5 million whereas nearly 16 million people live in Istanbul. 

“A study is going on to exactly determine what has caused this rise in infections in the city,” said Professor Recep Öztürk from the Health Ministry’s Science Board, adding that a more detailed announcement will be made soon.

Öztürk stated that the residents’ complacent behavior appears to be the reason behind the increase in the number of new cases in Ankara.

If province-based measures fail to curb the spread of the virus, nationwide actions may be taken, Öztürk said, adding that the government will make the final decision on that. 

“There are people who live in Ankara, but their hometowns are in other provinces such as Çankırı and Çorum. Those people travel to their hometowns to attend events such as weddings and return. Nearly 90 percent of working people in the capital are employed in the public sector. If they behaved complacently, they might have passed the virus onto other people,” said Professor Levent Akın, who is also from the Science Board. 

Professor Kemalettin Aydın, the vice-rector of the Health Sciences University, stated that Ankara had seen the largest number of virus cases in the country over the past ten days. 

He also appeared to hold inter-city travel responsible for the spike in COVID-19 infections in the capital. 

“The city’s residents traveled to holiday destinations or their hometowns in June and July. They got infected there and infected other people when they returned,” Aydın said.

With tight measures, the spread of the virus in Ankara could be taken under control within three to four weeks, according to Aydın, who gave warning that Istanbul and the Marmara region may see a sharper rise in infections than Ankara after October. 


coronavirus, Probe,