Virus cases on the rise across Turkey, says health minister
The number of cases across Turkey is on the rise, the country’s health minister has warned, renewing his call for the public to adhere to anti-virus measures.
Turkey registered 2,013 new coronavirus patients over the past 24 hours, which brought the overall tally to 353,426, according to data from the Health Ministry released on Oct. 21.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca held an online meeting on Oct. 21 with health officials from the provinces of İzmir, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Eskişehir, Denizli, Adıyaman and Aydın to discuss outbreak-related developments.
“In those seven provinces, also Istanbul in particular, and across the country, virus cases are increasing. [Wearing] masks has become even more important. Let’s stick to the rules,” Koca tweeted following the meeting.
Earlier in the day, the minister also took to Twitter to urge the public to follow measures to stem the virus’ spread and “reduce the burden” of healthcare professionals.
Data from the ministry showed that the number of patients in critical condition currently stood at 1,504 as of Oct. 21, with 5.6 percent of those suffering from pneumonia this week.
Top Turkish officials dismissed a report suggesting that the government is mulling curfews in the face of the spike in the coronavirus cases.
When asked about the claims regarding possible new restrictions in an interview with CNN Türk, Vice President Fuat Oktay told private broadcaster CNN Türk responded, “If additional measures are necessary, they can always be considered, but these are not on our agenda at the moment.”
The deputy interior minister also dismissed a report by Reuters news service.
“The report claiming that ‘Turkey may bring curfew’ is completely unfounded. As we have said before, everyone should disregard fake memorandums, anonymous sources and manipulative reports,” İsmail Çataklı, wrote on Twitter.
Turkey rolled back most of the strict curbs previously introduced to stem the spread of COVID-19 in June.
The Health Ministry separately announced that influenza vaccines will be made available gradually based on the severity of the identified groups.
In a statement, the ministry said that connections were made to provide more influenza vaccines than in previous years, but the vaccines are being provided gradually due to the limited production capacity of vaccines across the world.
It added that Turkish citizens will be able to learn their risk of infection from the e-Nabız (e-Pulse) system. The relevant vaccine will be prescribed by doctors only through an online prescription system, and they will be provided by the pharmacies.
The e-Nabız is an application where citizens and health professionals can access health data collected from health institutions via the internet and mobile devices.