Turkey to receive 90 mln doses of Pfizer vaccine

Turkey to receive 90 mln doses of Pfizer vaccine

Turkey to receive 90 mln doses of Pfizer vaccine

Turkey has signed an agreement for the procurement of over 90 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, the country’s Health Minister has said.

In June, some 30 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech jabs will arrive in Turkey, and the deliveries will continue in July, August, and September, Fahrettin Koca told reporters.

He also said Professor Uğur Şahin, the founder of BioNTech, will attend the Health Ministry’s Science Board’s online meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

Koca also announced that Turkey will receive more than 10 million doses of the vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac this week.

To date, Turkey has administered more than 26.5 million doses of the virus jabs. Over 11.3 million people have received both doses, and more than 11.3 million people have been given both doses.

Meanwhile, the number of daily cases showed sharp declines after Turkey embarked on stricter measures, including a nationwide lockdown, easing from record highs, an expert has said.

The country emerged from the lockdown on May 17, which came into effect on April 29. As the lockdown came to an end, Turkey this week moved to a gradual normalization phase. Weeknight curfews and full weekend lockdowns will remain in place during the new phase. Restaurants and cafes will remain closed but provide limited services, such as takeaway and delivery.

Intercity travel will be allowed outside of the curfew days and hours.

“In mid-April, the daily infections were hovering at around 60,000, but from this time to the week of May 10 and May 16, cases dropped by nearly 80 percent,” Professor İsmail Cinel, the chair of the Turkish Society of Intensive Care, told Demirören News Agency.

The number of COVID-19 patients treated in hospitals’ intensive care units (ICU) also fell nearly 23 percent over the same period, Cinel noted.

This is a welcome development, but it is not enough as the number of ICU patients should come down further to around 1,500, he said, stressing that people with other serious diseases also need ICUs.

Data from the country’s Health Ministry show that there are more than 2,300 coronavirus patients in critical condition in the country, while the occupancy rate at hospitals’ intensive care units is 62.5 percent.

Anadolu Agency separately reported, citing official figures, that the positivity rate also fell significantly during the 17-day lockdown.

On April 29, when the lockdown began, the positivity rate was 13.55 percent, which fell to 7.89 percent on May 8. It was 5.2 percent on May 16, marking the lowest figure since February.

The daily number of deaths fell from over 330 to 220 over the lockdown period, according to the agency.