Virus cases may increase further, warns top health official

Virus cases may increase further, warns top health official

Virus cases may increase further, warns top health official

COVID-19 cases may increase further in Turkey in the coming days, the country’s Health Minister has warned, noting that the number of daily infections has remained above 30,000 for some time.

Currently, Turkey is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases that climbed to 33,680 on Oct. 12, marking the highest level since April 30.

During June and July this summer, the daily infections dropped to around 5,000 from record highs in April, when the country witnessed the number of cases touching the 60,000 mark.

Since mid-September, the daily number of infections has been hovering at around 30,000.

“Given the current conditions, changes in the number of cases may increase further,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted on Oct. 14, while renewing his call on the public to stick to social distancing and face mask rules and get vaccinated on time.

Koca said earlier this week that the country’s vaccination drive had slowed down. He particularly mentioned young people, stating that as universities are resuming in-person classes, students need to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

In fact, in July and August, there were days the country administered more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, in recent weeks only about 200,000 to 300,000 doses are given per day.

Turkey rolled out its vaccination program in mid-January. To date, well over 113 million doses of the coronavirus have been given to the country’s citizens.

Nearly 47 million people, which account for some 76 percent of the population aged 18 and above, have been fully vaccinated, while close to 55 million people or 88 percent of the adults have received at least one dose of the jab. Moreover, some 11 million people have been given the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In Istanbul, the country’s largest city and financial center, nearly 20 million doses of the jab have been administered, Governor Ali Yerlikaya said.

Some 90 percent of the city’s residents aged between 55 and 59 have received the first dose, while over 86 percent of the same age group have been fully vaccinated, according to the governor.

The vaccination rate among the age group 60 to 64 was even higher, standing at 92 percent for the first dose and 89.6 percent for both doses. But, only 60 percent of the city’s residents aged between 25 and 29 have received their two doses, while 75 percent have been given the first dose, Yerlikaya said.