Weekly incidence rates decline in largest cities
The weekly COVID-19 incidence rates in Turkey’s three largest cities, Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir, have declined.
The incidence rate, measuring the number of coronavirus infections per 100,000 people, was down to 627 in Istanbul in the week of Feb. 12 - Feb. 18 from 718 between Feb. 5 and Feb 11, while it fell from 1,017 to 776 in İzmir, the country’s third most populous city, as per the data posted by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Twitter on Feb. 28.
In Ankara, which saw a spike in cases in the past weeks, the incidence rate dropped from 1,324 to 1,217.
In Turkey, the total of daily COVID-19 infections has been on the decline for some time, remaining below 80,000 since Feb. 24, after climbing over 100,000 in early February.
As the cases decline, the number of people in risk groups who can catch the disease and the deaths from the coronavirus is also falling, Koca said.
Experts are expecting the virus cases, which spiked due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, to decline further across the country in the weeks to come. They are also anticipating that as infections decline, the mandate for protective face masks and social distancing may be scrapped outdoors starting next month.
Despite the sharp increase in the number of cases, the country’s hospitals, however, did not come under serious strain.
“The world is now fighting the pandemic with the vaccine,” the ministry wrote on Twitter, calling on people to get their booster shots.
Earlier this week, Koca hailed that 85 percent of the population aged 18 and above, or close to 53 million people, have been double jabbed.
“This is a significant success,” the minister said, however, warning that people are still skipping the third dose of the jab.
According to data from the Health Ministry, a little over 27 million people have been given a booster shot, while more than 57 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. To date, Turkey has administered over 145 million doses of the vaccine.
Since the first case was reported in March 2020, the coronavirus has infected more than 13 million people and claimed the lives of nearly 92,000 patients.