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Pandemic is taking a dire turn as winter approaches

Pandemic is taking a dire turn as winter approaches

The coronavirus situation in Turkey and the world is taking a dire turn as winter approaches. The country, which has seen a surge in the number of patients in the last month, is now wary of more people being forced to spend time at home or other indoor venues with temperatures dropping.

Afşin Emre Kayıpmaz, a member of the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board points out the danger of “household infections” and calls on the public to postpone plans to visit their families, relatives and friends at home. “Especially in winter, such visits should be out of the question unless they are really necessary. People tend to think they are more likely to be infected by strangers, people they come across outdoors and rarely consider that their loved ones and friends can infect them too,” Kayıpmaz said.

Turkey’s overall tally of patients stands at more than 391,000, ahead of total recoveries which stands at 336,221. Fatalities, meanwhile, have exceeded 10,800. The total number of COVID-19 tests, in the meantime, stands at over 14.9 million.

Media outlets citing Health Ministry data say 70% of new infections stem from the same households – making home visits responsible for the rise. The authorities are now considering implementing new measures to combat further outbreaks, including restrictions on crowded meetings with friends or relatives in the same house, as well as restrictions on crowded indoor venues and mass transit.

“Infection risk at homes has particularly increased. For instance, a young, asymptomatic patient can infect older people in the same household. Those older people are at risk of suffering from the virus more than the younger members of the household,” Kayıpmaz told Anadolu Agency (AA) Sunday.