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COVID-19 mortality in Turkey have increased due to the delta variant

COVID-19 mortality in Turkey have increased due to the delta variant

Over the last two months, Turkey has seen an increase in daily coronavirus cases. As the numbers fluctuate around 28,000, deaths have stayed above the 200 mark over the past few weeks.

Professor Mehmet Ceyhan, a children’s infectious diseases expert from Hacettepe University, says the fast-spreading delta variant is the main factor in the increasing number of deaths.

“Death rate was 9 in 1,000 in the first two waves of original strain of coronavirus. We have seen alpha variant in March and April, when daily cases were around 60,000 and death rate was six in 1,000. In this latest stage with delta variant, the rate is 11 in 1,000. Delta alone causes a more severe, deadly type of disease,” Ceyhan told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Thursday.

He warned that unlike the earlier strains of coronavirus, delta is also affecting young people and children. “(The) delta variant spreads more in the body and can make people of all ages ill,” he added. Ceyhan also said that although effective treatment against delta is not available yet, supplying oxygen and taking patients to intensive care earlier can help to reduce the fatalities.

Amid the recent upward trend in the pandemic, Turkey is striving to boost its vaccination program, which is the only way to overcome the impact of new variants according to authorities. As of Thursday, the country has administered more than 109 million doses of CoronaVac and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. The number of people with two doses of vaccine exceeded 44 million. The Health Ministry is fighting vaccine hesitancy among the public and blames the surge both on variants and the unvaccinated who account for the majority of severe cases.

Inoculation is not mandatory in the country, but the government recently imposed restrictions on travel for the unvaccinated and entry into crowded venues. They are now asked for negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for exclusion from the restrictions.

Experts say a surge in cases is inevitable, as people continue to flout rules like mandatory masks and social distancing after a normalization process began on July 1, lifting almost all pandemic-related restrictions, including curfews.