As Turkey continues its fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the end of the pandemic seems to be near.
“We may be living the critical final months,” the minister said at a news conference following a meeting of the country’s coronavirus task force.
Koca noted that the contagion of the virus has accelerated in the last two months, adding that the rate of infections was not slowing and urged people to take precautions.
“The pressure it puts on our health care professionals has increased by 4-5 times,” he said.
Turkey also raised filiation personnel to 11,238 from 6,000 to monitor the spread of the virus, he added.
“Today, the world is in a more difficult phase of COVID-19 than at the beginning of the pandemic,” Koca said, adding that vaccine studies will show positive results by the end of the year.
Koca stressed that 51.6% of beds in hospitals were occupied, intensive care units are working at 66.3% capacity and 33.6% of available ventilators are being used.
The minister added that intensive care units are working at 72.5% capacity in Izmir, 63.23% in Ankara and 59.61% in Istanbul.
Of those infected, 7.1% suffer from pneumonia.
Another 1,771 cases of the virus were reported in the past 24 hours bringing the country’s tally to 296,391, Koca said. The number of patients in critical condition has increased to 1,351.