Turkey plans conducting nationwide massive virus tests to determine extent of spread
As of May 6, Turkey has carried out well over 1.2 million tests while the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has climbed to nearly 132,000. The death toll from the outbreak has exceeded 3,500.
“Those tests will not be limited to a certain region or regions but cover the entire country. We are working together with the Turkish Statistics Institute [TÜİK] for this mass screening tests,” Koca said following a Science Board meeting.
PCR and antibody tests will be used to have a clearer picture of the state of the outbreak in the country, the minister noted, adding that those 150,000 people have been selected through the sampling method.
“The sample tests mark a crucial point as they will help us decide how to move forward with measures to be taken down the road. Work on the sample tests have already begun but field work will commence next week, Koca furthered.
The latest data confirms that the outbreak is now under control, but the threats from the coronavirus are yet far from over, he said.
“We have moved to the second phase in the fight against the pandemic. Risks are here to stay for a long time. The new phase would not be a regular normalization period. Any loss of control may trigger a second wave,” the minister added.
The government has announced its plan to gradually ease the curbs initially imposed to slow the spread of the outbreak.
“This new period ahead should be called “controlled social life.” We are moving towards a free but guarded lifestyle. We should still adhere to social distancing and we will definitely wear face masks if we need to go out,” Koca said.