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Turkey conducts 600,000 COVID-19 tests becoming one of world’s top 10 testers

Turkey conducts 600,000 COVID-19 tests becoming one of world’s top 10 testers

The global community quickly began to conduct testing and place positive cases under quarantine to contain the novel coronavirus, with Turkey conducting more than half a million tests.

An online source for international statistics, worldometers.info, shows Turkey conducted almost 600,000 tests to become one of the world’s top 10 testers.

Turkey has reported more than 82,000 coronavirus cases and the death toll stands near 1,890; notably, more than 10,000 patients have recovered.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said in March that the UN agency had a “simple message for all countries: test, test, test!” It was an effort to drawn international attention to the importance of testing.

Turkey quickly adopted the WHO policy and began using more tests to identify those infected and it took necessary steps to stop the spread of the virus.

Statistics on the Health Ministry’s database said Turkey significantly increased the number of tests used since late March when there was a daily average of almost 11,500 tests. For the past week, it has been testing more than 30,000 each day.

Turkish businesses rushed to produce a diagnosis kit shortly after the outbreak, and their efforts bore fruit. Turkey now is self-sufficient in terms of manufacturing its own testing kits. It is able to produce Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, which are more accurate in diagnosing the virus.

In addition to the PCR tests, Turkey also uses imported rapid testing kits to diagnose those infected. Those are less accurate but offer fast results. Health authorities use both kits in harmony to deal with the virus crisis.

And Turkey has to date provided medical aid to at least 30 countries, including testing kits.

The global community started adopting testing policies depending on populations of nations, health care systems, fiscal conditions, social and political networks and self-sufficiency.

After Europe was recognized as the “new epicenter” of the virus, countries there started conducting more tests. Germany has used more than 1.7 million testing kits and Italy and Spain conducted 1.3 million and 930,000, respectively.

In comparison with the other European heavyweights, the British and French response to testing has been slower as each respectively held near 460,000 and 463,000 diagnosis tests.

As for the U.S., which is second to none with more than 735,000 cases, has used an excess of 3.7 million tests; Canada has conducted more than half a million tests.

Iran, which became the first largely infected country in the Middle East, has performed 310,000 tests. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has used 150,000 kits.

The world’s second most populated country, India, has conducted nearly 372,000 tests whereas the figure in Pakistan stands near 100,000.

Testing in Turkey

Turkish citizens can apply to health authorities if they show symptoms of the virus and get tested, in addition, all those evacuated from abroad are tested by medical staff. If someone tests positive, that person is referred to quarantine.

The country uses a “filiation” method to screen the chain of contacts in infectious diseases; if somebody tests positive, close contacts are also tested. There are more than 4,000 filiation teams following over a quarter million today.

Testing and treatment services for coronavirus are offered free of charge in Turkey, where those older than 65 years of age or younger than 20 are not allow to go out as part of measures taken to curb spread of the outbreak. Similar to the past week, a curfew will be effective from early Saturday to late Sunday.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 185 countries and regions, with its epicenter shifting to Europe and the U.S.

The pandemic has killed some 159,000 people and infected some 2.2 million, while nearly 592,000 have recovered, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.