Virus caseloads weighing on Turkish hospitals, says health minister

Virus caseloads weighing on Turkish hospitals, says health minister

Virus caseloads weighing on Turkish hospitals, says health minister

Caseloads on hospitals and burden on health workers are increasing, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has warned.

“We have to stick to [anti-virus] measures in order to keep the caseload at a manageable level,” Koca wrote on Twitter.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also called on his nation to comply with measures taken to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“I expect our nation to carefully comply with the measures we have put in place to combat the pandemic in this critical period,” Erdoğan said on Nov. 14 at a provincial congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul via video conference.

“If we do not follow the rules and protect our own health, we may have difficulty bearing this burden,” he added.

Koca held a meeting over the weekend with senior officials from the Health Ministry and the provincial health director of Istanbul and chief physicians of hospitals in Istanbul to discuss the increased caseload burden and affiliation works.

“We addressed the possible measures, which look inevitable to be taken, a new strategy to fight [the outbreak],” the minister said.

Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayor of Istanbul, claimed on Nov. 14 that according to data from the municipality’s department of cemeteries a total of 164 people died of “infectious diseases” in Istanbul on the day.

“This was the highest figure recorded in the city during the pandemic,” he said.

İmamoğlu later tweeted that Koca called him, saying that “Koca told me that they are working hard on anti-virus measures.”

Some 13,000 teams with more than 42,000 personnel took part in inspections across the country between Nov. 6 and Nov. 13, the Interior Ministry announced on Nov. 15.

They checked nearly 68,000 intercity and 152,000 inner city public transport vehicles, some 74,000 taxis, 13,000 marketplaces and more than 500,000 businesses located on crowded streets and avenues during the anti-virus inspections.

As a result of those inspections, 991 inner city public transport vehicles and inter city coaches as well as taxis and 107 businesses were barred from operation while nearly 37,000 businesses were warned for violating the coronavirus measures, the ministry said.