Turkey refutes NYT article on Istanbul COVID-19 deaths
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s health minister on April 22 refuted allegations in a recent New York Times article on the death toll in Istanbul from the novel coronavirus.
Speaking at a news conference following a Coronavirus Science Board meeting, Fahrettin Koca said the newspaper’s claim that Turkey is hiding the number of deaths from the coronavirus is “fiction solely based on anti-Turkey bias."
"We have given all the information transparently to the World Health Organization, as it wants, and we continue to do so," Koca added.
The New York Times article claimed that compared to the last two years, there has been a significant increase in the number of deaths in Istanbul and that Turkey has been underreporting the city’s death toll from the coronavirus.
It alleged that according to data compiled from public records of deaths in Istanbul, there have been some 2,100 more deaths in March and April 2020 compared to data from the last two years.
Koca said people who were supposed to be buried in their respective hometowns had to be buried in Istanbul as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result, the numbers at some of the city’s cemeteries are higher than usual.
He emphasized that the main focus should be the overall death toll for Turkey and not just in one city.