Success in diagnosis, treatment prove Turkey has pandemic under control, says Turkish health minister
Turkey has completed the first phase of its struggle against the novel coronavirus, the country’s health minister said on Wednesday.
The results of efforts to counter the virus, as well as success in diagnosis and treatment in the country, has proved that Turkey has the pandemic under control, Fahrettin Koca told reporters after the virtual meeting of Coronavirus Advisory Board in the capital Ankara.
Describing the new phase with loosened restrictions as “controlled social life,” Koca said: “The outbreak is under control but the realities on the virus have not changed.”
“Our home remains the safest environment against the virus,” he stressed.
The coronavirus threat has not disappeared yet, Koca said. “This is possible by the isolation and treatment of the final [coronavirus] case.”
The official underscored that the new phase is not a “typical normalization period in the sense we know.”
“The risk continues,” he said. “Losing the control will be an invitation for a second wave. We have seen this in many countries.
“In this new period, we will not decrease but increase our test capacity. We will detect the cases early,” he said, adding that the regular scans in public places will be made.
Touching on measures that will come in the second phase of coronavirus battle, Koca underlined that there is no decision yet to open restaurants and cafes in Turkey and they will continue to be closed until further notice.
On March 16, Turkish government announced that all bars, restaurants, cafes, wedding venues, movie theaters, and indoor children’s play areas were closing.
Koca also stressed that guides will be published about the new controlled social life and the rules that need to be followed in working places, saying: “Everyone will not be able to go to the shopping malls as before, a certain number of people will not be indoors.”
A pill called Remdesivir, which has been used in the US for a while and has born successful results, was used for 400 patients in Turkey and the country plans to use it in the coming days, according to the top health official.
On Wednesday, Koca said the number of intensive care unit patients and those on ventilators continued to drop, with a total of 78,202 patients in Turkey having recovered so far from the coronavirus.
COVID-19 cases have been reported in 187 countries and regions since it emerged in China last December, with the US and Europe now the hardest-hit areas.
The pandemic has killed over 258,200 worldwide, with total infections over 3.69 million, while recoveries surpassed 1.21 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.